NCAA: Omorogbe fills in for hurting Baloria, leads Altas over CardinalsBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines — Cameroonian import Nosa Omorogbe waxed hot in the second half as Perpetual Help upended Mapua, 73-68, in the NCAA Season 89 men’s basketball tournament Monday night at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Omorogbe shot 17 of his 25 points in the second half including three treys in the fourth quarter to help hold off a late push by the Cardinals and notch the Altas’ fifth win in six stints.
“I knew Juneric (Baloria) wasn’t a hundred percent so I have to step up for him,” said Omorogbe on teammate Juneric Baloria, who played through a thigh injury.
The versatile big man, who also had five assists, assisted on his team’s final three baskets — the last a Baloria baseline jumper that pushed Perpetual Help’s lead to five, 73-68, with under a minute left.
Baloria, who has been the Altas’ main man, still finished with 13 points and five assists.
Perpetual Help led 49-38 at one point in the third quarter but had to lean on Omorogbe’s hot-shooting to douse Mapua’s run.
Guard Darrel Magsigay broke out with 13 points and eight rebounds to pace the Cardinals, who pulled even at 57 after a triple from Joseph Eriobu.
Omorogbe answered with his own three, 60-57, as Perpetual Help led for good.
The Altas joined idle San Beda Red Lions in second place at 5-1 behind league-leading Letran Knights while the Cardinals fell to 1-5.