Elopre layup lifts Altas over Blazers in OTBy Mark Giongco
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – Chris Elopre scored the game-winning layup as Perpetual Help became the latest team to deal College of St. Benilde another heartbreaking loss 90-89 in overtime Monday night in the NCAA Season 89 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Elopre only had four points but all of it came in the extra session including a lay in with 14.7 ticks left as the Altas chalked up their seventh win in nine starts.
“Masarap yung feeling pero mabigat din sa dibdib kasi ang laki ng lamang namin tapos humabol. Buti na lang yung mga players ko matibay yung loob,” said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario, whose team blew a 16-point lead, 39-23, late in the second quarter.
“Yung tira ko, hindi ako yon, si God yon,” said the graduating guard Elopre, who opened up the extra period with a basket, 82-80.
The Altas trailed by four in the final 1:16 of regulation after back-to-back triples by Mark Romero. They trailed again, 88-89, after an undergoal stab by Paolo Taha with 36.4 seconds remaining.
But on both times, Perpetual Help managed to respond.
Juneric Baloria had 25 points, including a basket to cut CSB’s lead down to two, 80-78. Justine Alano added 19, two of which tied the game at 80, with 44 ticks to go.
Nosa Omorogbe also gave St. Benilde problems with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
The Blazers started flat before getting their groove with Jonathan Grey exploding for 23 points in the first half, 21 in the second quarter alone to lead a 19-6 run to close the first half.
Grey, who finished with 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, cooled off in the second half but Mark Romero took over from there.
Romero scored all of his 25 points in the second half and overtime including his fourth triple that made it, 83-82, with 4:00 left in OT.
Romero though, missed an open trey from the left wing with 5.5 seconds left before Luis Cinco threw the ball away off the inbound pass as time ran out.
Harold Arboleda also produced quite a performance for Perpetual Help with 19 points and 16 rebounds.
The Blazers slid to 3-6 after winning three in a row with all of their losses just two points or less.