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NCAA 99: Jomel Puno’s double-double, clutch trey tows San Beda past Perpetual


San Beda University fashioned a come-from-behind 62-60 victory over University of Perpetual Help System DALTA to remain in their place in the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Tuesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Highly-touted rookie forward Jomel Puno played a pivotal role in the victory, leading the Red Lions in both points and rebounds with 12 points and 17 boards.

Puno was the only double-digit scorer for San Beda in a low-scoring contest.

Puno was also responsible for the last five points for San Beda, including a crucial three-pointer with 2:53 left that gave the Red Lions a 60-58 lead.

Third-year guard Jacob Cortez struggled to score against the length of the Perpetual defenders. He finished with only six points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field, including 0-of-4 from downtown.

With their lead guard under pressure from the Altas’ best defenders, San Beda’s offense took time to find its rhythm. They only managed to score 28 points in the first half, allowing Perpetual to take an 11-point advantage by halftime, 39-28.

“It’s just the way we started the game; we started out flat. We let them dictate the tempo and the physicality,” said returning Red Lions head coach Yuri Escueta, who served a one-game suspension the last time out.

It was in the final frame that Jomel Puno made the difference, scoring eight of his 12 points to help narrow the deficit.

After Puno’s three-pointer gave them the lead, the San Beda defense held the score at 60-58 until the 0:38 mark. Then, Puno grabbed his 17th rebound for the putback, sealing the 62-60 win for the Red Lions.

#ReadMore  NCAA 98: Moore, Arellano dent Letran slate; Rubico's triple-double, LPU deal Mapua first loss

“In the second half, they woke up at halftime. I liked how we picked up defensively, especially in the last two minutes of the third quarter. They really helped each other make stops,” said Escueta.

“In the first half, they scored 40 points, and in the second half, only 21. The defense really allowed us to catch up and pull ahead in the second half.”

Team captain Peter Alfaro added nine points while rookie Nygel Gonzales and sophomore Oliver Tagle chipped in eight apiece.

San Beda improved to a 5-2 record, maintaining their third-place position in the standings.

It now looks ahead to its upcoming game against San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Friday at 4:00 PM.

After a few tough outings, Marcus Nitura regained his form against the Red Lions, leading the Altas with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. Christian Pagaran also came close to a double-double, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Jun Roque started strongly with 10 points in the first half but was held scoreless by San Beda in the third and fourth quarters.

The Altas fell to a 3-5 record after their defeat against the Red Lions.

They face a tough matchup in their schedule as they are set to challenge the number one team, Mapua University, on Saturday at 9:30 AM.


The Scores:

San Beda 62– Puno 12, Alfaro 9, Gonzales 8, Tagle 8, Payosing 7, Cortez 6, Andrada 5, Jopia 4, Visser 3, Gallego 0, Cuntapay 0, Royo 0

UPHSD 60– Nitura 15, Pagaran 14, Roque 10, Omega 7, Razon 6, Abis 6, Nunez 2, Barcuma 0, Ferreras 0, Boral 0, Orgo 0

#ReadMore  Agem Miranda takes charge in OT as JRU shocks Letran to open NCAA 99

Quarterscores: 15-21, 28-39, 47-54, 62-60

Written By

Vito Martin is a sportswriter from the Philippines. In 2023, he graduated from the Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in BS Psychology. He wrote for Ateneo’s official school publication The GUIDON, where he covered basketball, football, baseball, badminton, and other collegiate sports. He is a life-long fan of the Boston Celtics and an avid follower of the NBA


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