Altas impressive in dismantling Bombers; Blazers score
Perpetual Help didn’t hide its eagerness to go out and play after two years in lockdown. Off the gates, it rolled over a Jose Rizal side still trying to get into the vibe and posted a lopsided victory in its return to the NCAA Season 97 men’s basketball tournament.
The Altas were all over the court, swarming the Heavy Bombers with an unforgiving full-court press while unleashing their gunners from all sides to register a 77-56 victory on Tuesday at La Salle Greenhills Gym.
“I also didn’t expect that [lopsided] result,” said Myk Saguiguit, who assumed head coach role after serving as deputy to Frankie Lim in the off-season. “Maybe the boys are super excited to play; it’s been two years and this is the first chance they get [to see action].”
The prospects look bright for the Altas, whose last Final Four appearance was under Lim in Season 94. They haven’t won a championship since joining in the league in 1984 but made the finals in 1989 with eventual PBA star Bong Hawkins in tow, and again in 2004.
St. Benilde scored its first win after turning back Lyceum, 79-68 in the second game, as Robi Nayve and AJ Benson helped the Blazers break free from a tight first half for a bounce-back win after suffering a 64-61 defeat at the hands of the defending champion Letran Knights in the opener.
“Good win for us after last game because there, we collapsed in the end,” said veteran Blazer Will Gozum in Filipino.
Nayve wound up with 17 points, while Gozum and Benson chipped in 15 and 11, respectively.
Perpetual, meanwhile, displayed its formidable backcourt in Kim Aurin and Jielo Razon, who took care of their free-flowing offense. Aurin finished with 20 points, including five three-pointers that all came in the first half, while Razon had 13.
But the Altas are more than just a two-man squad.
“The strength we have now is the relationship among the players and coaches,” said Saguiguit in Filipino.
The last time the Altas had marquee guards was in 2014 when they had future PBA superstar Scottie Thompson. INQ