University of Perpetual Help System DALTA lived to fight another day after scoring a 59-52 win over Arellano University in the NCAA Season 97 Seniors Basketball play-in tournament for fifth, Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
With the win, the Altas will now face the College of Saint Benilde Blazers in the battle for the last Final Four slot on Wednesday at 3:00PM.
“Pinaghirapan ng players into,” expressed first-year Altas head coach Myk Saguiguit. “Ang sinabi ko lang sa kanila ay nandito na tayo sa pinto, kumatok tayo ng malakas para mabuksan.”
Figuring in a nip-and-tuck start to the final frame, the Altas, behind Kim Aurin, Jielo Razon, and Mark Omega, went on a 15-3 blitz to go up 59-48 with 1:18 remaining.
There was no comeback for the Chiefs as they bid farewell to their campaign and, with it, the Most Valuable Player dreams of Justin Arana.
Aurin produced 16 points, five rebounds, two assists, and a steal for Perpetual. Razon and Lean Martel added 10 points apiece with the former also tallying six rebounds and six assists.
Mark Omega also hauled down nine rebounds with eight points.
Jordan Sta. Ana paced Arellano with 12 points while Arana added 17 rebounds, nine points, and two blocks.
Arana, who is in his last playing year, was leading the Player Average Value race. However, the MVP winner in the grand old league can only win the top individual prize if he leads the team to the Final Four.
Perpetual 59 – Aurin 16, Razon 10, Martel 10, Omega 8, Pagaran 7, Barcuma 6, Egan 2, Abis 0, Cuevas 0, Nunez 0, Sevilla 0.
Arellano 52 – Sta. Ana 12, Arana 9, Concepcion 8, Sablan 7, Cruz 5, Oliva 4, Caballero 2, Valencia 2, Doromal 2, Steinl 1, Carandang 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 13-14, 25-24, 44-43, 59-52.