Perpetual stuns San Beda to force decider for Finals berth
Perpetual finally exorcised its demons.
With their back against the wall, the Altas pulled off an 87-83 stunner San Beda to stay alive in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament Final Four Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Perpetual, which had the twice-to-beat disadvantage, lucked on a Gab Dagangon undergoal stab for the go-ahead bucket with 19.7 seconds left and stood firm on defense, stifling Davon Potts’ jumper and forcing AC Soberano to miss a three in the ensuing possession.
Keith Pido sealed the game at the charity stripe.
The win was the Altas’ first against the Red Lions in the semifinals since 2004.
“Kahit struggle, medyo happy naman na naging successful kami,” said coach Jimwell Gican. “But it’s just Game 1. Enjoy ko lang ito, but we have to prepare hard for Game 2. Sana makuha namin.”
Game 2 is on Tuesday, still at Mall of Asia Arena.
Dagangon topped Perpetual with 27 points and five rebounds, while Bright Akhuetie made his triumphant return with a sizzling double-double of 15 markers, 11 boards, and three blocks. Daryl Singontiko added 15 in the win.
The Altas fired a scintillating 14-1 blast to start the first quarter en route to a 21-9 lead before holding off a furious fightback from San Beda down the stretch.
Perpetual also rose above off-court issues which hampered the team going to the Final Four.
“Gusto namin manalo eh. Mataas lang ang aggressiveness ng team, lumabas yung competitive spirit pero ok naman so far,” said Gican.
Robert Bolick topped the Red Lions with 21 points, all of which coming in the first half, to go with six assists and four rebounds.
Soberano got 16 markers on a 4-of-10 shooting from threes, while Arnaud Noah had 14 points.
PERPETUAL 87 – Dagangon 27, Akhuetie 15, Singontiko 15, Hao 8, Ilagan 8, Coronel 6, Pido 6, Sadiwa 2, Eze 0, Gallardo 0, Mangalino 0.
SAN BEDA 83 – Bolick 21, Soberano 16, Noah 14, Potts 12, Mocon 8, Adamos 6, Oftana 2, Presbitero 2, Sara 2, Alas 0, Bonsubre 0, Carlos 0, Navarro 0, Tongco 0.
Quarters: 21-9, 41-36, 60-62, 87-83.