Last August 11, The Colegio de San Juan de Letran and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA figured in an emotionally-charged affair that saw doors broken and the Knights come out on top, 63-61. This time, the Altas did not allow a Knights hijack to happen again, surviving Letran in an 88-82 overtime win, Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Prior to this game, Perpetual had lost four of their last five games.
“Simple lang naman ang ginawa namin, walang pressure. We play na walang pressure. Free-wheel na. Walang hesitation especially in offense,” said Perpetual head coach Jimwell Gican, who called the shots on the sidelines as consultant Nosa Omorogbe was away for personal reasons.
Perpetual is now 4-6 in the standings while Letran dropped to an even 5-5, creating a logjam in fourth place.
Leading MVP candidate Prince Eze powered Perpetual with 21 points and 19 rebounds, while Gab Dagangon finished with 21 points as well. And the two were instrumental in overtime.
Not wanting an encore of their heartbreaking loss to Letran in the first round, Dagangon converted on back-to-back clutch buckets to give Perpetual an 82-77 lead with 3:01 left. A jumper by Eze with 40.9 ticks remaining proved to be the dagger to the hearts of the Knights.
“Credit to him because he’s working hard especially nung nag-break kami. Kinausap ko siya especially na nasa MVP race siya. I keep telling him to work hard and don’t stop learning sa basketball,” Gican remarked about Eze.
The Knights, a team that last played on August 17, gave a valiant stand that sent the game into overtime.
Letran rallied back from six points down in the final frame with JP Calvo knotting the game at 72-all with 1:35 left. Dagangon was able to answer right back, however, blowing past Rey Nambatac to give Perpetual the edge.
However, a split on the stripe by AJ Coronel with 14.2 seconds left in regulation led to a sidestep triple by Bong Quinto with 4.4 seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime.
“Nanalo kami pero may mga kaunting lapses pero at least na-survive namin sa overtime yun. Yun ang wino-work out pa namin ngayon,” recalled Gican as they struggled to find poise during the final frame.
Calvo paced Letran with 21 points, while Quinto and Nambatac added 15 each. However, Letran committed 25 turnovers that led to 24 points.
Perpetual look to ride the momentum they gained from this game on Tuesday, September 12, at 4:00pm against the San Sebastian Stags. Letran, on the other hand, look to snap out of their funk on Thursday, September 14, when they face the JRU Heavy Bombers at 2:00pm.
UPHSD 88 – Eze 21, Dagangon 21, Ylagan 18, Coronel 10, Pido 9, Cabiltes 4, Hao 3, Yuhico 2, Mangalino 0, Sadiwa 0, Clemente 0, Lucente 0, Tamayo 0
CSJL 82 – Calvo 21, Quinto 15, Nambatac 15, Vacaro 9, Balanza 8, Taladua 7, Bernabe 3, Mandreza 2, Gedaria 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Balagasay 0, De Villa 0, Caralipio 0, Pascual 0
Quarterscores: 18-12, 32-33, 57-52, 75-75, 88-82
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