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Dionisio lifts Light Bombers over Red Robins

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Jose Rizal pounced on the shooting woes of last year’s runner-up Mapua as it hammered out an 80-70 victory to jump into the early share of the lead in the juniors’ division of the 94th NCAA basketball tournament at the JRU Gym in Mandaluyong City.

Marwin Dionisio came off the bench to finish with a double-double effort with game-highs 19 points and 11 rebounds while Cadell Buno, John Amores and Thomas Vasquez fired 14, 13 and 12 points, respectively, to lift the Light Bombers to their first win.

The win also sent the Kalentong-based cagers to the top alongside the Perpetual Help Junior Altas, who stunned the San Beda Cubs, 72-69, and the San Sebastian Staglets, who edged the Lyceum of the Phl U Junior Pirates, 69-68, Sunday.

Clint Escamis, the lone remaining starter from last season, got into foul trouble early, committing four fouls in the first half including three in the first quarter.

He finished with nine points, all from the first half.

JRU’s triumph, however, was no fluke as it also beat Mapua in the first round last year when its core headed by reigning MVP Will Gozum, Warren Bonifacio and Jasper Selanga were still playing.

“We won against them last year, in the first round. The boys showed they want to beta them again, they played with heart,” said JRU coach Vic Lazaro.

The boxscores:

JRU 80- Dionisio 19, Buno 14, Amores 13, Vasquez 12, Baluyot 8, Mendoza 6, Portales 4, Icban 4, delos Santos 0, Macatangay 0, Fortuna 0, Garcia 0

MU 70- Sarias 16, Mariano 13, Escamis 9, Policarpio 8, Quimado 8, Hernandez 7, Smith 6, Arches 3, Dennison 0, Chavez 0, Fransman 0, Diaz 0

Quarterscores: 18-12; 43-33; 63-60; 80-70