Frankie Lim made his return to the NCAA on Saturday afternoon. And as fate would have it, he was facing the team that he had steered to four championships – the San Beda Red Lions.
Familiarity could’ve played a part in the University of Perpetual Help DALTA Altas’ close game against defending champions. But most visible was the vigor that the young Altas played with.
Perpetual did not back down against San Beda up until the closing moments of the contest.
However, the battle-tested Red Lions showed their advantage in experience over the Altas. With 9.8 seconds left, and down by just two points, Prince Eze was able to grab his 11th rebound of the game. He then threw a pass to Edgar Charcos to try and cross the halfcourt line. The former UE Red Warrior then threw an ill-advised crosscourt pass that was intercepted by Robert Bolick. Their upset bid ended anti-climatically, 65-67.
“It could’ve been better if we won the game. We were there. I felt we had full control of the game. ‘Di sila lumayo, biggest lead was six points. First half, I felt they struggled and we showed different looks and went down to our last offensive play,” Lim recalled.
“We threw the ball. Shit happens. Ganoon talaga.”
Still, Lim was incredibly proud of the stand they put up.
“I’ve been here for six months. The last time we practiced here in MOA, we had a good practice, simulation kami, game and everything for a couple of quarters. Ganoon exactly ang nakita namin,” the San Beda alumnus shared. “I’d rather look at all positive sides of our game rather than… A lot of good things happen. Minsan nagugulat ako with the way they execute, the way they took their shots, yung mga looks na binigay nila. Tsaka yung tapang kita ko matapang ang mga bata ko.
“I’m proud of them. They have to admit it, kinabahan sila.”
With an outing like this, the Altas have sent a message to the rest of the league that they cannot and will not be taken lightly. The challenge now for the team is to sustain their tempo of play for 17 more games.
“That’s the challenge, to play at a high level every single game. Hindi naman kami powerhouse eh. We cannot play, ire-rate mo yung game namin, dapat eight o nine, puro ganoon. Hindi kami puwedeng maglaro ng five and expect to win. Not like San Beda which is a very strong team,” opined Lim.
“Kami hindi kami ganoon. Kailangan every game ganyan kami.”