Clutch Cedrick Abis lifted University of Perpetual Help System DALTA over Mapua University, 79-77, escape victory in the NCAA Season 98 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Friday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Down one, 76-77 with 26 seconds left, Abis knocked down a huge top of the key three to give the Atlas the lead, 79-77.
Mapua was called for the 24-second violation in the next possession, losing their final chance to take back the lead.
“Yung tira kanina parang God’s gift ba. Kasi akalain mo naman ba na mashoot ni Abis yon. Saka sabi ko naman sa player ko, magdasal tayo ng taimtim kasi yan. Anything can happen basta may faith dun sa Taas,” said Perpetual head coach Myk Saguiguit.
“Yung last play na yon actually, kay Kim yon eh. Pero ganda ng focus nung bata [Abis], kaya nabigay sa kanya yung tira na yon,” he added.
Only down by two, 62-64 with 7:30 left, Jeric Pido was called for an unsportsmanlike foul after grabbing the foot of Kim Aurin after missing his basket.
The Altas were able to capitalize after this. They sparked a 9-2 run capped off by a Jielo Razon triple to grab their biggest lead, 73-64, with 5:24 remaining.
From there, Jopet Soriano came alive scoring a 10-3 run of his own. Warren Bonifacio then gave Mapua back the lead, 77-76 before entering the final minute mark.
Aurin had an impressive all-around performance, finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Jielo Razon contributed 15 markers, eight boards, and four dimes, while Abis had 13 points, two boards, and an assist.
For the Cardinals, on the other hand, Arvin Gamboa led his team with 12 markers, seven boards, and two dimes. Paolo Hernandez and Soriano both finished with 11 points.
Next up for Perpetual (2-2) is San Beda University (2-2) on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Meanwhile, Mapua (1-3) will look to snap its losing streak versus Colegio de San Juan de Letran (2-1) on Tuesday, 3:00 PM.
Perpetual 79 — Aurin 18, Razon 15, Nitura 13, Abis 11, Roque 9, Omega 9, Flores 4, Barcuma 0, Martel 0, Cuevas 0, Orgo 0, Nunez 0.
Mapua 77 — Gamboa 12, Hernandez 11, Soriano 11, Nocum 10, Bonifacio 10, Pido 9, Lacap 8, Garcia 4, Cuenco 2, Agustin 0, Mercado 0.
Quarterscores : 20-24, 38-41, 60-55, 79-77.