NCAA: Perpetual rookies play key role in latest victory
MANILA, Philippines—Perpetual Help may have been bailed out by Cedrick Albis’s game-winning triple against Mapua but the Altas also have a pair of unsung heroes to thank.
Perpetual Help rookies Cyrus Nitura and Art Roque added fuel to the team’s tirade for a 2-2 win-loss record so far in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
“I told them to treat this like a knockout game. If we lose against Mapua, we’ll go down deep, it’s hard to go 1-3. Everyone in the standings now are clamped,” Altas head coach Myk Saguiguit said after the 79-77 win.
Nitura and Roque, both newcomers to Saguiguit’s system, added 13 and 9 points respectively in the win against the Cardinals.
Nitura registered a staggering 60 percent shooting clip from the field, sinking six of his 10 attempts.
Roque, on the other hand, fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter but snatched seven rebounds and snagged two steals prior.
“I told them, let’s give them 40 minutes of hell on defense. We didn’t train much on offense, just pure defense,” Saguiguit explained.
The Altas, as a team, hounded the Cardinals with nine steals and seven blocks.
Perpetual Help also forced Mapua to commit 17 turnovers, where it scored 15 points from.
Saguiguit and his rookies will look to improve in the team standings on Sunday against San Beda, which also holds a 2-2 card.
“Our schedule is very hectic. Of course, we really want to win against San Beda. We will try our luck and try to compete with them,” the head tactician said.
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