DYNAMIC guard Baser Amer fired a game-high 23 points to power San Beda past University of Perpetual Help, 72-65, last night and keep second place alone in the NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The sophomore point guard from Zamboanga City unloaded his last 10 points in the fourth quarter, eight of them coming in a row, as the Lions stayed behind idle leader Letran at 6-1 while sending the Altas to third at 5-2.
“Baser knows that he has to deliver for the team to beat Perpetual and he gladly responded to the challenge,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.
Cameroonian Nosa Omorogbe finished with 21 points and rookie Juneric Baloria added 16 for the Altas, who rallied from a 16-point deficit late in the third period.
But Rome Dela Rosa, Arthur Dela Cruz and Ola Adeogun combined well with Baser, whose last triple atop the arc provided a five-point cushion for the defending champion Lions with three minutes remaining.
Jordan Dela Paz scored 21 points on top of nine rebounds and a pair of steals as Jose Rizal University survived San Sebastian College, 67-63, in the other game.
The Heavy Bombers foiled San Sebastian’s bid to stretch its win-streak to four games and tied the Stags at 4-2.
Up by seven early in the payoff period, the Heavy Bombers saw their lead vanish as forward Jaymar Perez, Jovit Dela Cruz and Raffy Gusi fired at will.
Perez found holes in JRU’s internal defense, Dela Cruz nailed his jumpers and Gusi drilled back-to-back threes inside three minutes that set up the cardiac finish.
Gusi’s three-pointer with 1:56 left gave them the upperhand, 63-62, before Philip Paniamogan, Cris Jordan Dela Paz and Juan Salaveria bailed out the Heavy Bombers from the stripe.
Down by just a basket, the Stags could have forced extra time but Perez misfired his runner from the corner. Salaveria was fouled during the rebound and finished off the Stags with a pair of freebies, 3.1 seconds remaining.
Omorogbe escaped with a drive and later converted one of two free throws to trim the gap, 62-68, inside two minutes.
But the Altas failed to collar the rebound after an Adeogun miss that led to an easy put-back by Dela Cruz that pushed the Lions comfortably ahead. A triple by Omorogbe with 12.3 seconds left and two free throws by Lion Yvan Ludovice closed out the scoring.
SAN BEDA 72—Amer 23, Koga 14, Adeogun 9, Dela Cruz 8, Pascual 6, Ludovice 6, Dela Rosa 6, Abarcar 0, A. Semerad 0, Mendoza 0, Sara 0, D. Semerad 0.
PERPETUAL 65—Omorogbe 21, Baloria 16, Jolangcob 10, Arboleda 7, Alano 6, Bitoy 3, Thompson 2, Dizon 0, Ylagan 0, Elopre 0, Paulino 0.
Quarters: 20-10, 38-22, 52-39, 72-65
JOSE RIZAL 67—Dela Paz 21, Pontejos 12, Mabulac 8, Salaveria 8, Abanto 4, Paniamogan 4, Balagtas 4, Lasquety 2, Juanico 2, Diego 2, Grospe 0, Benavides 0.
SAN SEBASTIAN 63—Perez 17, Gusi 11, Tano 10, Dela Cruz 8, Guinto 7, Ortuoste 4, De Vera 3, Rebollos 2, Balucanag 1, Vergara 0.
Quarters: 16-13, 30-34, 50-47, 67-63