Altas devour Lions; Pirates strike anew
MANILA, Philippines - Perpetual Help scored six points in 15.9 seconds to eke out a pulsating 88-87 overtime victory that turned to nought a San Beda triple from way beyond midcourt in regulation in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
The victory ended a seven-year drought for coach Aric del Rosario’s Altas against defending champion Red Lions and placed the team at second on their third win in four outings.
With the Altas down 82-84, Harold Arboleda scored on a reverse after picking up the rebound off two missed free throws by Anthony Paulino and then Jett Vidal and Earl Thompson came through with a four-point swing with 6.5 seconds left to steal the win from the jaws of defeat.
Vidal ended up scoring with a game-high 29 points while Thompson, who turned a leaf yesterday, chipped in 23 to seal the Altas win, sending the Lions to their first defeat after two wins in a row.
The setback wasted a miraculous three-pointer by Baser Amer with a fraction of a second to go in regulation that forced OT.
Chris Cayabyab took charge in the fourth quarter, hitting seven of his 12 points as Lyceum outsteadied Mapua, 78-74, in the first game.
Shane Ko sizzled with 23 points and Floricel Guevarra fired 14 points but it was Lyceum’s skipper Cayabyab who made the key baskets in the fourth quarter to help seal the Pirates their second straight win after dropping their first three games.
Lyceum also toughened up on defense and held Mapua to just eight points in the last seven minutes, highlighted by back-up center Daniel Garcia’s block on a driving Josan Nimes and another deflection by Guevarra on a potential game-tying triple by Kenneth Ighalo from the baseline.
“We just prayed that the ball end up in the hands of our captain because we rely on him on crucial situations,” said Lyceum coach Boni Tan, referring to the 23-year-old Cayabyab.
“We also made key stops in the end and it helped us a lot,” he added.
Tan said they dedicated the victory to Nenita Mendoza, a former long-time secretary of the Basketball Association of the Philippines and mother of Lyceum player Nelson who passed away recently, and to its center Gian Mallari, who celebrated his birthday yesterday.
In a match that was close throughout, the Cardinals appeared headed to book their third straight win after turning a two-point deficit early in the final quarter to a 66-60 lead with less than seven minutes left in the game.
But the Pirates bounced back with a couple of stops and clutch shooting by Cayabyab to steal the victory in a game marked by 13 deadlocks and the same number of lead changes.
The Cardinals fell to 2-2.
Mapua remained without four of their rookies – Gab Banal, Joseph Eriobu, Mark Brana and Jessie Saitanan – who have yet to get clearance from the league to play because of lack of eligibility requirements.
“No decision yet,” Management Committee chair Fr. Vic Calvo, OP, of host Letran told The STAR yesterday. “A decision could be made only after Mapua request for an eligibility meeting and submit eligibility documents so we can not clear the players yet, that’s the procedure.”
Lyceum 78 – Ko 23, Guevarra 14, Cayabyab 12, Zamora 7, Azores 6, Laude 5, Francisco 5, Edding 3, Ambohot 3, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, Mallari 0
Mapua 74 – Parala 27, Chien 11, Nimes 10, Ighalo 9, Estrella 7, Stevens 4, Banal 4, Abad 2, Cantos 0
Quarterscores: 17-16; 34-34; 56-56; 78-74
Second Game (srs)
Perpetual 88 – Vidal 29, Thompson 23, Paulino 10, Jolangcob 9, Babayemi 6, Arboledo 6, Elopre 3, Omorogbe 2, Alano 0, Allen 0
San Beda 87 – K. Pascual 25, Amer 19, Dela Cruz 12, Caram 11, Koga 9, J. Pascual 4, Ludovice 4, Dela Rosa 3, Lim 0, Moralde 0, Villaruz 0, Abarcar 0, Bonsubre 0
Quarterscores: 12-15; 34-27; 56-44; 72-72; 88-87