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Returning De La Rosa ignites Bombers, wins NCAA weekly player award

MANILA, Philippines – Comeback is definitely real for Ry De La Rosa.

Jose Rizal University created some noise this week by notching two straight victories en route to an 8-4 win-loss record, which is good for third place in the NCAA Season 99 men's basketball tournament — all thanks to the timely explosion of the returning De La Rosa.

The graduating team captain, who missed a number of games since after the opening day last September 24, put his name back on consciousness by averaging 10.67 points and 2.0 rebounds in their last three games, meaningful numbers that were enough to earn him the Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week honors.

The senior guard was on target in JRU's last two games, hitting six 3-pointers for a 19-point outing in their 79-72 win over San Sebastian last Friday before detonating three more clutch long bombs and finishing with 12 points to down the feisty Arellano, 79-74, on Sunday.

Those performances surely weighed heavily on the Bombers' Final Four bid as they now sit behind the top seeds Mapua Cardinals (9-2), and Lyceum (8-3) while being ahead of erstwhile second seed San Beda (7-4).

For his splendid scoring outputs, De La Rosa outgunned Lyceum's Greg Cunanan, Arellano's Jade Talampas, and Benilde's Migs Oczon for the weekly honors presented by San Miguel Corporation and backed by minor sports Discovery Suites and Jockey.

“Definitely getting there for sure, just have to continue and put in extra work. My teammates and my coaches are really not pressuring me to get back, and I'm glad that it was showing and I'm just very thankful to be in this position," said the 24-year-old ace.

“I'm glad I am playing with this group, these guys just know how to hold it down, they know the only way to win is to rely on one another and that's just our thing, continuing to show the brotherhood we have."

De La Rosa had a quiet first round stint after suffering a head injury against reigning champion Letran in the season opener. It also didn't help that he got sick a few days after, forcing him to sit out JRU's next seven games and return just last October 21.

And with De La Rosa now back in the fold, JRU's bid to make it to the Final Four for the