NCAA: Altas overwhelm ChiefsBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Flashing a fluid offensive game that had gone missing for the better part of the second round, Perpetual Help blasted Arellano U, 89-58, last night to boost its Final Four hopes in the 88th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
A balanced onslaught led by Jett Vidal propelled the Altas past the out-of-sync Chiefs and to a ninth victory in 14 games, pushing them closer to their first postseason appearance since 2004.
“We’re not thinking about the Final Four yet,” said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario. “We still need to win our next two games (against Mapua and Lyceum) before we can entertain thoughts about making the Final Four.”
Sustaining his strong play in the second round, Vidal finished with 24 points built on 10-of-22 shooting, to lead four other teammates in double figures as the Altas found their offensive rhythm in the second half to score their most lopsided win of the season.
All told, the Altas shot 51 percent from the field and dished out 19 assists with small forward Nosa Omorogbe accounting for nine. Omorogbe also wound up with 18 points, including 10 in the fourth period.
The Chiefs came into the game nursing faint hopes of making the Final Four and a ninth loss put them teetering on the brink of elimination.
The Altas opened the second period with a 10-0 blast to establish control with Vidal and Earl Thompson on the firing end.
Thompson, playing with a spring in his step, had another solid outing with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists—a performance that had Del Rosario comparing him to his former University of Santo Tomas player and now PBA star, Cyrus Baguio.
PERPETUAL 89—Vidal 24, Allen 18, Omorogbe 18, Thompson 14, Alano 12, Babayemi 3, Bitoy 0, Cenita 0, Elopre 0, Arboleda 0, Paulino 0.
ARELLANO 58—Pinto 11, Zulueta 11, Forrester 10, Acidre 9, Bangga 7, Hernandez 4, Salcedo 2, Cadavis 2, Caperal 2, Salcedo 2.
Quarters: 17-15, 37-25, 64-41, 89-58