Jose Rizal University seeks to add a fitting follow up to its giant-sized opening day victory as it clashes with another fancied bet in College of St. Benilde today in NCAA Season 99 at the Filioil EcoOil Arena.
The Bombers made heads turn right on the season’s first day after it pulled the rug from under the Letran Knights, the league’s reigning three-peat kings, in a gripping 85-79 overtime at the MOA Arena.
And another win over the Blazers, last season’s losing finalists, in their 2 p.m. showdown would catapult the Kalentong-based dribblers back to a share of the lead with the Lyceum of the Philippines U Pirates (2-0).
In that shock win, JRU coach Louie Gonzales felt they succeeded in their goal in showing their bench depth.
“We witnessed the depth of our bench and that’s one thing we were working during the off-season. We wanted to be unpredictable in terms of player usage where anybody can contribute anytime to offense,” Gonzales said.
It was the pair of Agem Miranda and Marwin Dionisio who took the cudgels in their first triumph after the two finished with identical 17 points with the former taking charge in OT and the latter getting things done in regulation.
It was also a win that launched a thousand ships for a school that is seeking its first championship since going all the way in the 1972 season—or more than half a century back.
But the Bombers should have their hands full as they tackle a CSB team out to bounce back from a stinging 85-81 defeat to LPU also in the inaugurals.
It doesn’t help JRU that reigning MVP Will Gozum is returning after serving his suspension in that CSB defeat following an unsportsmanlike behavior in the deciding Game Three of last year’s finale.
Likewise eyeing a piece of the lead are battle-scarred Mapua and San Beda, who will battle each other at 4 p.m.
Both the Cardinals and the Lions bared their fangs after hurdling their respective assignments with the former destroying the Arellano U Chiefs, 85-61, and the latter surviving the San Sebastian Stags, 80-70, Tuesday.