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Decimated JRU battles San Sebastian

Jose Rizal University will be marching into battle with only six men against a complete San Sebastian College today in Season 98 National Collegiate Atheltic Association men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Game time is at 3 p.m. as the undermanned Heavy Bombers will have to hold the fort against the Stags after the NCAA management committee handed out game suspensions after Tuesday’s altercation against College of Saint Benilde.

With John Amores getting suspended indefinitely for running amok, Bombers Jason Tan, Joshua Guiab, Jason Celis, Marwin Dionisio, Jonathan Medina, Mark Abaoag, Karl de Jesus and CJ Gonzales will be suspended for one game while William Sy and Jay Arenal won’t be seeing action in three and two matches, respectively.

This means team captain Ry de la Rosa, JL de los Santos, Agem Miranda, Joshua Guiab, Mark Joson, and Pauloh Villarin will be the only ones eligible to play today.

In the opening game, Saint Benilde aims for a share at the top spot when it faces University of Perpetual Help at 12 p.m.

A win by the Blazers, who sport a 10-3 win-loss record, will put them at the top with defending champion Letran College, which has an 11-3 card.

But all eyes will be on JRU as hoops fans will be eager to see if this handful of players can somehow put up a gallant stand.

More than just winning their upcoming encounter, De la Rosa knows they have to compete despite the severe handicap they will be facing.

“We have to work with what we have. The system we run will help us throughout the game but it’s different when it’s a complete team and you’re going in with six guys,” De la Rosa said, whose squad got beaten by the Stags, 72-68, last 28 October.

“I wouldn’t go through with it with anyone else but these guys. We just expect to play our game and whatever the results may be, we have to compete. It’s still a five-on-five on the court.”

The last time an undermanned team won in the NCAA was San Beda University in 2012 when its “Super Six” team of Art de la Cruz, Yvan Ludovice, Ritchie Villaruz, Francis Abarcar, Dave Moralde and Jun Bonsubre, pulled off an 81-71 win over Arellano University in its first match of the season.

JRU (6-7) will have to go through a full San Sebastian (5-7) side led by Ichie Altamirano, Jessie Sumoda, Kenneth Villapando and Rhinwil Yambing.

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