NCAA: Perpetual steals the win from Mapua, takes solo lead at 3-0
Perpetual Help snatched a thrilling 82-79 victory from the clutches of Mapua to grab the solo lead in the NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at the Arena in San Juan.
Gab Dagangon made the biggest baskets of the game, first making the go-ahead undergoal stab from Earl Thompson to push the Altas up, 80-79 with 30.7 seconds remaining.
Perpetual followed it up with a big stop in the ensuing possession after Mapua’s Daniel Aguirre missed on his runner and Allwell Oraeme forced a shot while he was down on the floor, Bright Akhuetie pounced on the chance as he collared the ball and sent it to Dagangon on the other end for the easy lay-up to seal the deal with 7.0 ticks remaining.
Josan Nimes had a chance to tie the game, but his trey over the outstretched arms of Jeffrey Coronel missed the mark at the buzzer.
“Dun mo makikita yung character ng player. All the way behind kami, lalayo, pero ang pinakaimportante yung last two minutes,” said coach Aric del Rosario. “Sinabi ko lang wag magmadali sa opensa. Depensa muna tayo at dun tayo makakakuha ng opensa.”
(That’s where you see the character of the players. All the way, we’re behind, they’ll get a big lead, but the important thing is the last two minutes. I just told them to not rush our offense. Let’s play defense and that’s where we’ll get our offense.)
Akhuetie led Perpetual in scoring, pouring in 10 of his 24 points in the fourth, to go with eight rebounds.
Dagangon had 16 markers, while Cris Elopre had 14 in the win.
Thompson bucked a horrible 2-of-16 shooting from the field and flirted with a triple-double with nine points, 12 boards, and 10 dimes.
Perpetual is now the early leader at 3-0, but del Rosario is preaching the Altas to double their efforts in the coming games.
“Sana ma-maintain namin yung standing namin. Wag makumpyansa at talagang dapat doble ang trabaho sa ensayo,” he said.
(Hopefully, we could maintain this standing. Don’t be overconfident and we need to double our effort in practice.)
Nimes paced the Cardinals (1-2) with 16 points, while Oraeme got 15 markers, 18 boards, and three blocks in the defeat.
PERPETUAL 82 – Akhuetie 24, Dagangon 16, Elopre 14, Thompson 9, Eze 7, Coronel 5, Oliveria 4, Dizon 2, Sadiwa 1, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Bantayan 0, Gallardo 0, Cabiltes 0.
MAPUA 79 – Nimes 16, Oraeme 15, Isit 13, Aguirre 12, Biteng 8, Stevens 4, Serrano 4, Raflores 4, Brana 2, Dela Rosa 1, Que 0, Menina 0, Layug 0.
Quarters: 18-20, 35-39, 59-62, 82-79.
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