Amid a controversial start, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas were able to escape the rebuilding College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 69-65, Tuesday afternoon in the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The game started later than scheduled after a mishap on the side of Perpetual. The Altas brought the wrong jersey for the game, wearing their dark jerseys instead of their light uniforms. After a 43-minute delay, the game pushed through but the result is still under protest.
Even though it was a close match, it was a display of first-game jitters, as both teams committed too many turnovers. Altas had 28 turnovers while the Blazers committed 21.
“Swerte kami at nanalo kami sa first game pero talagang ganoon, first game eh. Naninibago pa. We’re lucky that we won that game,” shared second-year Perpetual head coach Jimwell Gican. “Medyo nag-collapse eh. Pagod na rin. Tsaka siyempre first game nga, ganoon talaga. First game jitters pa.”
Gab Dagangon punched in a double-double for Perpetual with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The senior was supported by GJ Ylagan and Jonathan Yuhico with 12 points each. Prince Eze, who is now the sole foreign student-athlete for the Altas after Bright Akhuetie’s departure, listed 11 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.
Saint Benilde’s leading scorer Kendrix Belgic, who had 16 points and five rebounds, suffered an injury after stepping on the foot of Eze in a battle for rebound, which Eze answered with a basket that gave the Altas a three point lead, 68-65, with 28.1 ticks left.
Saint Benilde had their chances to knot the game after Eze missed two free throws. However, an outlet pass by Gerard Castor was almost fumbled by Matthew Johnson, who was able to put up a three-pointer. The shot went wide, however, while Eze picked up the scraps, knocking down a free throw to seal the win.
Belgica was backed up by Matt Johnson with 10 points, while Gerard Castor and JJ Domingo had nine points each.
Like what mentioned earlier, the game is still under protest, hence the results are still not final. Perpetual coach Gican leaves it to the officials to decide on the matter.
Perpetual will next face the JRU Heavy Bombers on Friday, July 14, at 12:00nn. Saint Benilde will then take on the debuting EAC Generals at 2:00pm. – BY: Danine Cruz
UPHSD (69) – Dagangon 14, Ylagan 12, Yuhico 12, Eze 11, Sadiwa 10, Pido 6, Cornoel 4, Lucente 0, Tamayo 0, Clemente 0, Mangalino 0.
CSB (65) – Belgica 16, Johnson 10, Castor 9, Domingo 9, Young 6, Dizon 5, Sta Maria 4, Naboa 3, Leutcheu 2, San Juan 1, Bunyi 0.
Quarterscores: 23-13, 39-32, 53-55, 69-65.