TWO games into NCAA Season 89, newcomer Juneric Baloria has already proven he will be an important figure in Perpetual Help’s drive to duplicate its stellar campaign last year.
The Altas hope to get another strong performance from the lefty shooter when they clash with the dangerous San Sebastian Stags at 6 p.m. today at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juanhoping to join idle Letran for the lead.
Baloria, taking over Jett Vidal’s spot in the starting five, has averaged 16 points in the first two outings, including a 25-point explosion in the 78-70 win over Jose Rizal U last week.
“We need him to step up this season,” said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario of Baloria, a deadly outside shooter.
San Beda shoots for back-to-back victories earlier at 4 p.m. against an Emilio Aguinaldo College squad that is also coming off a morale-boosting win last week.
Chinks in the Red Lions’ armor were exposed in their first two games, but the three-time defending champions regained their deadly form by surviving a tough battle against another contender in the Arellano Chiefs, 64-57, last Thursday.
Quiet in the first two games, San Beda’s Nigerian center Ola Adeogun finally came alive against the Chiefs with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Baser Amer also made big plays in the final period to lift the Lions.
“I just hope we play well consistently,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.
The Generals, finally getting big games from Happi Noube, Igee King and John Tayongtonh, notched their first win at the expense of the St. Benilde Blazers, 73-72 , last Saturday.
The Stags are hoping to bounce back from a heartbreaking 99-104 double overtime loss to Mapua Cardinals in a game where they led by as many as 20 points last Monday.