By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
48 ACTION-PACKED minutes of thrilling basketball.
Central Philippine University Golden Lions gave their all to erase the five-point lead of Rizal Technological University in the final one minute of their 2019 UNIGAMES Men’s basketball showdown on Tuesday.
With RTU ahead, 75-73, the Golden Lions’ magnificent run was capped by a well-designed alley-oop play.
Taking full control of the first half, CPU imposed their will inside the paint, scoring at will off beautiful drop passes underneath.
The rampage did not stop as the Golden Lions started to sink shots from the three-point line courtesy of a hot-handed Rey Tupas.
CPU’s ball movement and consistent shooting kept their lead at double-digits and ended the half in dominant fashion, 33-15.
As the second half started, the atmosphere at the University of San Agustin Sambag gym changed as RTU went on a run by sinking treys and equalizing CPU’s strength in the paint.
CPU eventually started to turn the ball over and surrendered easy points to RTU in the break.
In the last quarter, Miguel Sasuman and Tupas scored some easy lay-ups to protect their single- digit cushion but it was not enough.
RTU then sank timely treys and tip-ins to take over the lead and grab the momentum.
Just when RTU thought they had full control of the game, Tupas caught a lob pass then quickly sank a hail-Mary from rainbow country to tie the game, all in 15 seconds.
RTU then turned the ball over and left the clock with one second, enough for CPU head coach Matthew Montalvo to draw out something on the board.
After the timeout, CPU then drew a beautiful backdoor lob play for the soaring Sak Galvez who buried the easy game-winning basket for the win.
The gym exploded in celebration.