Ruvic Danag drops 34, leads San Sebastian's OT escape vs. Arellano | NCAA Philippines

Ruvic Danag took charge as San Sebastian College-Recoletos pulled off a thrilling 102-100 overtime victory against Arellano University to boost their Final Four bid in the NCAA Season 99 juniors basketball tournament on Sunday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Danag amassed 34 points, the highest in the season so far, while also collecting four rebounds, three assists, and two steals as the Staglets improved to 4-3 to keep up with leaders Letran, Mapua, and Perpetual. 

The Braves, on the other hand, absorbed their fourth successive loss to go 1-5 in the team standings. 

Danag shrugged off the nerves late in the game, steadily sinking three free throws after drawing a foul from Ashton Novillo to tie things up at 89-all with one second left in regulation. Borgy Reguera then pulled up for a Hail Mary three-pointer, but missed out as the game went into overtime. 

The Braves, who trailed by as much as 14 earlier, fought back in the extra period and even regained the lead when Axel Mendoza and Axlerose Javier nailed back-to-back baskets for a slim 100-99 cushion with 39 ticks left to spare. 

John Melano then buried his lone field goal attempt of the game to give San Sebastian a 101-100 lead before Rion Porcadas iced the game with a split from the line. 

"Expected namin every game down the wire, talagang hindi kami madadalian kasi hindi kami malakas na team. Nakasalalay lang talaga kami sa depensa," San Sebastian head coach Juan Miguel Martin told GMA News Online.

"Natuto kami from last game against JRU. Nasaktan kami doon. Down by four [kanina], sabi ko sa limang players namin, even 'yung bench bumibigay na sa atin. Kayong nasa loob, kasama n'yo ko rito sa labas, huwag n'yo bitawan 'yung laro."

(We expect that every game will go down the wire, we will not have it easy since we are not that strong. We rely on our defense. We learned from our last game against JRU. We were hurt. Down by four earlier, I told my players, even our bench is down. The five of you on the court are with me, don't let go of the game.)

Ben Jimenez chipped in 20 points, seven rebounds, and a steal while Jhun Penaverde chimed in with 13 markers, five boards, five dimes, and three swats. 

Javier starred for the hard-luck Arellano, tallying 20 points while Reguera finished with 17. Mendoza poured in a double-double outing of 16 points and 10 rebounds. 

Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University finally broke out of its five-game slump after pulling off a hard-fought 77-68 win against San Beda University. 

Kian Panerio led the Junior Pirates with a team-high 16 points alongside six rebounds, two assists, and two steals while Kyle Timbol chipped in 14 markers, five boards, and three dimes as they improved to 1-5. The Red Cubs, however, slipped to an even 3-3 card. 

College of Saint Benilde-La Salle Green Hills, on the other hand, won over Jose Rizal University, 75-70.

Guillian Quines paced the Greenies with 18 points, while Dale Ortega had 17 points. Ram Sharma also chipped in 10 points as the Mandaluyong-based squad improved to 2-4.

Lee Marin had 19 points, while Martin Pineda had 13 points as the Light Bombers went down to 2-4.

—Bea Micaller/JKC, GMA Integrated News

Other Stories