After a frigid start to the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA finally secured its first win in an 85-66 victory over Arellano University on Tuesday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre, San Juan.
During Season 98, Arellano barely managed to defeat the Perpetual squad in both matchups. They secured a 61-59 victory in round one and survived a comeback scare in round two for an 86-81 win.
This time around, it was the Altas’ turn for payback.
Marcus Nitura led the Altas in scoring with 19 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, while Christian Pagaran followed closely with an all-around performance of 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block.
Sophomore standout Art Roque contributed 13 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, while big man Mark Omega recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Together, these four players accounted for nine of Perpetual’s 10 three-pointers in the match.
In their first two games, Perpetual had struggled considerably from beyond the three-point line, shooting a dismal 0/28 in their season opener against Emilio Aguinaldo College and 4/22 against Lyceum of the Philippines University, leading to two losses.
However, against Arellano, Perpetual finally found their shooting touch, making 10 triples on 34.5% shooting to secure the win.
“Parang itong game na ito marunong na ulit kami magbasketbol, kasi nung first two games namin, yung mga layup na mga four years old nakakashoot sila hindi makashoot,” joked Perpetual coach Myk Saguiguit.
Perpetual dominated the early stages of the match, establishing a 13-point lead after a free throw from Rey Barcuma. However, Jade Talampas ignited Arellano’s offense, scoring the next 18 points for the Chiefs, reducing the lead to as low as one, 27-28.
Nevertheless, the Altas remained undeterred by Talampas’ hot streak. They responded by outscoring the Chiefs 19-7 to end the second quarter and then embarked on a 16-1 run to start the third frame, securing a commanding 63-35 lead.
At that point, the match was out of reach for Arellano, and Perpetual ultimately sealed the 85-66 victory.
Saguiguit praised Talampas’ performance for Arellano after the game, emphasizing the need to slow him down in the second half.
“Give credit to Talampas, pero sabi ko sa kanila pagpasok namin ng dugout, ano yan, Talampas versuss Perpetual? Chinallenge ko yung mga bata, sabi ko siya lang yung shumoshoot eh. We need to stop that guy, so may maganda namang nangyari nadepensahan naman si Talampas sa second half,” said Saguiguit.
With their first win of the season, the Altas improved to 1-2, tying with College of Saint Benilde in the standings. Their next game is against season hosts Jose Rizal University on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.
Perpetual also won the rebounding battle against the Chiefs 63-40 and moved the ball more effectively, tallying 29 assists compared to Arellano’s 12.
Talampas was the only Arellano player to reach double digits in scoring with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and two assists.
The Chiefs’ struggles in Season 99 continued as they dropped to 0-3 for the season. They face an even tougher challenge as they go up against the undefeated Lyceum of the Philippines University on Friday at 2:00 p.m. at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.
Perpetual 85 – Nitura 19, Pagaran 17, Roque 13, Omega 12, Razon 7, Abis 6, Boral 4, Ferreras 3, Nunez 2, Barcuma 1, Gelsano 1, Sevilla 0, Cuevas 0, Ramirez 0
Arellano 66 – Talampas 23, Ongotan 9, Geronimo 9, Sunga 9, Dayrit 6, Capulong 5, Villarente 4, Mallari 1, Camay 0, Abastillas 0, Yanes 0, Dela Cruz 0, Valencia 0, Bryan Rosalin 0, Lustina 0
Quarterscores: 22-10, 47-34, 68-43, 85-66