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Tiebreaker Times


NCAA 99: Nitura atones for last game lapse as Perpetual eliminates Arellano

After playing for less than four minutes in University of Perpetual Help System DALTA’s victory over Jose Rizal University last Thursday, Marcus Nitura exploded to help the Altas defeat the Arellano Chiefs, 81-74, thus eliminating the Chiefs from contention for the final four in the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.

Altas head coach Myk Saguiguit had benched Nitura in their previous matchup due to his poor decision-making on the offensive end and defensive lapses. Nitura finished with a near triple-double, recording 13 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists, while also contributing five steals on the defensive end.

Saguiguit made jokes about Nitura during the post-game press conference, but he ultimately praised the young forward for his performance.

“Siyempre, si Cyrus, three minutes na lang yun last time eh. Nag-usap kami, sabi ko, pag nagkamali ka, assistant coach na kita, pero maganda yung simula niya kaya hindi mababawasan ang kanyang minuto. Muntik pa nga siyang makakuha ng triple-double, pero hindi talaga kasi kulang ng tatlong assists,” quipped Saguiguit.

With Nitura leading the way on both ends of the court, the Altas jumped out to an early advantage in the first half. They led by as much as 15 points in the second quarter, 44-29, after Ray Barcuma made a pair of free throws, and then an and-one play by Jeadan Ongotan cut the Altas’ advantage to just 12 points heading into halftime.

The lead extended to as high as 19 points in the third quarter, 48-67, after Barcuma made a three-pointer with 2:08 left in the frame. From then on, the Altas maintained their significant lead, preventing the Chiefs from making a comeback and securing an 81-74 victory.

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“Buhay pa, humihinga pa. Good win for us, magandang motivation going up against San Beda on Friday,” said Saguiguit after the game. “We just enjoy the moment, paglabas namin ng Filoil, focus na ulit against Beda.”

In addition to Nitura’s impressive all-around performance, Pagaran provided a significant scoring boost with his 21 points and five rebounds. Mark Omega also contributed 10 points, while team captain Jelo Razon dished out seven assists.

Jun Roque struggled throughout the match, scoring only one point on 0/9 shooting from the field and 0/8 from beyond the arc. Nevertheless, the Altas managed to secure the victory despite his poor performance.

With this win, the Altas improved to a 6-7 record as they continued to push towards the top of the standings in hopes of making it back to the Final Four for the first time since Season 94.

For Arellano, Ongotan led the way with 16 points and six rebounds, while Capulong recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Troy Valencia added 13 points in his 22 minutes and 57 seconds of action.

The Chiefs fell to a 2-11 record, losing all opportunities to make the Final Four, but their season continues. They will face Emilio Aguinaldo College on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

The Scores:

Perpetual 81- Pagaran 21, Nitura 13, Omega 10, Nunez 9, Abis 8, Barcuma 7, Gelsano 6, Razon 4, Sevilla 2, Ropque 1, Boral 0, Orgo 0, Movida 0, Ferreras 0

Arellano 74- Ongotan 16, Capulong 15, Valencia 13, Geronimo 9, Mallari 6, Sunga 5, Villerente 4, Talampas 4, Abastillas 2, Yanes 0, Dayrit 0, Lustina 0, Camay 0, Rosalin 0, Tan 0

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Quarterscores: 21-15; 44-32; 67-52; 81-74

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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