Altas oust Bombers, face Lions in Final 4By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
GAMES TOMORROW (Filoil Flying V Arena)
4 p.m.—San Beda vs Perpetual Help (Srs)
6 p.m.—Letran vs San Sebastian (Srs)
Veteran coach Aric del Rosario promised an improvement from Perpetual Help this season. The Altas, who finished near the bottom last season, achieved that and more.
Perpetual Help reached the Final Four for the first time in eight seasons following a pulsating 73-68 triumph over Jose Rizal U last night in their playoff for the last semifinal berth of the 88th NCAA basketball tournament.
Playing the biggest game of his collegiate career, Justin Alano scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, providing the hustle that helped propel the Altas to their first Final Four stint since losing in the finals in 2004.
“We just left everything on the floor for this game,” said Alano. “We really want to make the Final Four.”
Splendid all season long, the Altas’ Earl Thompson split his free throws with 12.4 seconds left to give the Altas a 71-68 cushion.
But the Bombers, with leading scorer Nate Matute riding the bench on their final play, committed a turnover that led to two free throws of Nick Omorogbe for the final count.
The Altas were in control for most of the game until the Bombers staged a late assault behind Byron Villarias and Alex Almario, who cut the deficit to 68-70 with 1:12 remaining.
Earlier, St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills leaned on Robert Bolick to subdue Letran, 75-70, and clinch the No. 3 seed heading into the Final Four of the juniors division.
Bolick provided the firepower when the Greenies needed it most as they hacked out the tight victory that set up a Final Four meeting with the San Sebastian Staglets, who will be armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Playing all but two minutes of the game, Bolick exploded for a season-high 34 points.
The loss relegated Letran to fourth spot and a meeting with top seed San Beda, which will own a twice-to-beat advantage.
ST. BENILDE 75—Bolick 34, Sy 13, Yap 10, Mercado 7, Ramilo 5, K. Paras 4, Barrera 2, Aytona 0, Tesorero 0.
LETRAN 70—Quinto 23, Galleon 19, Nambatac 14, Villanueva 9, Alas 3, Sazon 2, Geli 0, Ramos 0.
Quarters: 15-19, 34-34, 54-54, 75-70
PERPETUAL HELP 73—Alano 14, Omorogbe 14, Elopre 12, Arboleda 8, Babayemi 7, Paulino 7, Vidal 6, Thompson 5, Allen 0, Jolangcob 0.
JRU 68—Villarias 19, Lopez 17, dela Paz 8, Almario 7, Carampil 5, Romnick Mendoza 4, Mabulac 4, Salaveria 2, Porter 2, Matute 0, Maconocido 0, Monserat 0.
Quarters: 22-19, 41-35, 53-50, 73-68