Traveling from Las Pinas to Intramuros, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas made sure to come back home with a win, weathering a late Mapua University Cardinal surge to take a thrilling 63-60 win, Thursday afternoon at the Mapua Gymnasium in Manila City.
And what a time for Perpetual to pick up the first win of the season as they did it in hostile territory.
“Good thing nakabalik kami sa kapal ng crowd nila. Nakabalik kami sa game. Yung result, panalo,” said Perpetual coach Jimwell Gican.
Team captain GJ Ylagan led the Altas’ raid with 13 points while Prince Eze provided the added push with 11 points and 21 rebounds.
“It’s a good win for us. Pero bago ang lahat, gusto ko ibigay credit ng panalo namin syempre sa captain ball namin si GJ Ylagan,” Gican said about his skipper. “Because of his leadership, kahit despite dun sa nararamdaman niya na hindi maganda sa katawan niya, pero pinapakita pa rin niya leader niya sa team.”
However, it was the heroics of AJ Coronel and Keith Pido that stopped the Cardinals from defending their homecourt.
With Perpetual leading by as much as nine points in the final frame, the huge Mapuan crowd in the gallery inspired the Cardinals as the home team went on a 14-2 spurt to take a 54-51 lead with 4:17 left in the game. While the defense did its job, holding Perpetual to just one field goal for six minutes in the final frame, Almel Orquina willed Mapua on the other end.
The two teams then went on a back-and-forth exchange, much to the delight of the packed gym.
Needing a basket to silence the crowd, Coronel took matters into his own hands, slashing through the lane for the go-ahead basket to give Perpetual a 57-56 lead. A find by Pido to Coronel for a corner three extended the Altas’ lead while the former converted on two free throws to extend Perpetual’s lead to four.
“Yung turning point namin kanina yung drive ni Keith Pido, big shot yun. AJ Coronel yung three points,” reflected Gican. “Biniibigay pa rin nila quality minutes sa court. “
Andoy Estrella though tried to make one last push, coverting on a floater. After a split on the stripe by Eze, Mapua had two chances to send the game into overtime but Estrella and Orquina missed potential game-tying baskets.
Coronel added 10 points and nine rebounds for Perpetual while Pido chipped in nine points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
The overwhelming Mapua crowd might have helped Mapua as Perpetual went a horrid 14-for-29 from the foul stripe.
Leo Gabo paced Mapua with 12 points while Estrella and Orquina finished with 11 and 10 points respectively. Christian Bunag gobbled down 11 rebounds as well.
Perpetual looks to make it two in a row when they face the EAC Generals on Tuesday, July 25 at 12:00nn. Mapua, on the other hands, face the streaking Lyceum Pirates on Friday, July 28 at 2:00pm.
UPHSD (63) – Ylagan 13, Eze 11, Singontiko 10, Coronel 10, Pido 9, Lucente 8, Dagangon 2, Yuhico 0, Tamayo 0.
MU (60) – Gabo 12, Estrella 11, Orquina 10, Victoria 9, Bunag 5, Aguirre 5, Raflores 4, Nieles 4.
Quarterscores: 19-16, 32-27, 49-40, 63-60.
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