Perpetual triumphs over Lyceum in coach Aric del Rosario’s returnBy Celest R. Flores
It was the Altas’ first opener win since 2007 and also the first victory in the collegiate ranks of the comebacking legendary coach Aric del Rosario since he last mentored UST in the UAAP in 2003.
Perpetual Help’s top three scorers joined forces in the final quarter in making sure the Altas do not squander the lead in the face of a comeback by the Pirates.
The Altas were quick to make adjustments after a nearly disastrous end to the third and never allowed Lyceym to pull close than nine points in the payoff period.
“I used my experience in coaching. We exploited the mismatch and used our advantage,” said Del Rosario, still manning the sidelines at 72.
Jet Vidal, one of the streakiest shooters in the league, tied for the game-high 17 points while Earl Thompson and Nosa Omorogbe scattered 16 and 14 points, in that order.
Omorogbe made two free throws with under two minutes left which gave Perpetual its double-digit lead back.
The Altas finished with a record of 5-13 in season 87, but were off to a good start this season as they even led by as big as 55-40 in the third quarter.
But that was before Perpetual Help was held to just two points while Lyceum pounced on the offensive end and scored 14 points to pull within, 54-57, after three quarters.
A team effort carried the Pirates, which succumbed to an early 0-2 hole, with the leadership of Chris Cayabyab who finished with 17 markers on a losing effort.
Cayabyab scored two points from the stripe with two and half minutes to play to cut the lead down to 68-77, but that was the closest his squad would get.