Sidelined the past three years, Jamil Ortuoste is making up for lost time.
The 5-foot-9 guard tallied a season-best 28 points as San Sebastian slipped past Arellano, 78-76, last night for its first victory in the NCAA Season 89 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Scoring heavily on triples and floaters, Ortuoste helped carry the rookie-laden Stags in the last two periods after the Chiefs took control just before halftime.
“It’s been frustrating the past three years, that’s why I’m happy I’m getting my chance now,” said the crafty guard who hit 10 of 15 shots in 34 minutes on the floor.
After a solid high school career at San Sebastian, where he won two NCAA juniors titles, Ortuoste transferred to Far Eastern U although he was unable to crack the first team. He returned to the Stags’ fold on the prodding of assistant coach Raymund Valenzona.
“We outworked them (Chiefs),” said coach Topex Robinson, whose squad bounced back from a 69-74 loss to Letran last Saturday.
Perpetual Help underscored its status as a contender with a 69-49 rout of Emilio Aguinaldo College in the second game.
Earl Thompson and Nosa Omorogbe wound up with 14 points each as the Altas, who reached the Final Four last season, played with ferocity on both ends.
Stags forward Leo de Vera, a recruit from California, posted 15 points, six boards, two blocks and a steal, while Bradwyn Guinto posted another double-double with 10 points and 14 boards.
The Chiefs battled back from a slow start, relying on a strong second period to take a 61-60 lead after a Keith Agovida undergoal stab. But Ortuoste buried a triple and scored six of the next eight points of the Stags who zoomed ahead, 71-65, with 4:50 left.
Earlier, San Beda scored its second straight victory in the juniors division following an 83-59 triumph over La Salle Green Hills, while Perpetual Help debuted with an 83-64 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College.
The senior scores:
SAN SEBASTIAN 78—Ortuoste 28, De Vera 15, Dela Cruz 10, Guinto 10, Perez 10, Gusi 3, Rebollos 1, Tano 1, Magno 0.
ARELLANO 76—Caperal 11, Hernandez 11, Agovida 10, Pinto 10, Jalalon 6, Salcedo 6, Enriquez 5, Margallo 4, Cadavis 4, Nicholls, Gumaru, Bangga 0.
Quarters: 20-14, 39-35, 60-54, 78-76
PERPETUAL HELP 69—Thompson 14, Omorogbe 14, Baloria 12, Arboleda 10, Dizon 7, Alano 6, Bantayan 4, Elopre 2, Jolangcob 0, Lucente 0, Oliveria 0.
EAC 49—Paguia 12, Happi 8, King 7, Mejos 4, Arquero 4, Jamon 4, Munsayac 3, Monteclaro 2, Castro 2, Morada 1, Hiole 0.
Quarters: 11-8, 31-16, 46-32, 69-49