Carl Lacap knocked in eight of his 13 points in the last period to power the defending champion Malayan Red Robins to a 92-88 win over the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers on Tuesday at the Arena in San Juan.
His jump shot and triple in the last 5.8 seconds made the difference for the Red Robins, who kept their bid for the no. 1 seeding in the Final Four semifinals intact in the 93rd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball tournament.
“Bumawi lang. Sobrang pangit kasi ng laro ko nung last game namin sa JRU,” said Lacap, who recalled how he played against JRU in the first round.
Lacap connected moments after the Light Bombers stayed close for the last time, 85-86, off Ronnie Camua’s layup.
From there, the Red Robins made efforts to protect the six-point edge they earned in the dying seconds.
“Mahirap. Mabuti, nalusutan. Kailangan namin dumaan sa mga ganoong mga laban para matuto kami sa mga susunod naming game,” said Red Robins coach Randy Alcantara.
Kobe Caballero hit 24 points for the Light Bombers, who now tote a 6-11 card.
His drive in the last 2:42 kept JRU close, 80-82.
But a putback from Will Gozum a few moments later allowed the Red Robins to keep their distance, 84-80.
Gozum showed the way for the Red Robins with 31 points and 14 rebounds while Warren Boniface made 18 points and 15 rebounds.