The University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta Altas used a stingy defense and took full advantage of the College of Saint Benilde Blazers’ offensive ineptitude to secure a historic 59-41 win in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Benilde’s 41-point tally tied the FilOil record for the lowest point total in the tournament’s 10-year history. The Blazers also scored 41 points against the San Beda College Red Lions in 2012.
Perpetual got their gears grinding early, holding Benilde to just six points in the first quarter for a 20-6 advantage. Cameroonian big man Bright Akhuetie dominated the first quarter, scoring nine points, but sat out most of the following period. Without Akhuetie on the floor, the Blazers forced the Altas into contested midrange jumpers. Re-entering the game midway through the quarter, and with his team up 22-14, Akhuetie immediately restored Perpetual’s double-digit lead, converting back-to-back layups. Perpetual brought a 28-17 lead into the next half thanks to a late Gab Dagangon bucket.
Benilde found a sweet spot in the third quarter, using dribble penetration and smart interior passing to trim the Altas lead down to five, 32-37. From there, Dagangon sparked the run that put the game out of hand, drilling a jumper off a down screen. Gerald Dizon then sunk a buzzer-beating triple to give UPHSD a 42-34 lead. The late triple seemed to take all the wind out of the Blazers, as they barely put up a fight. The Altas shot off an 8-0 spurt then stuck the dagger into CSB with an emphatic Akhuetie dunk for a 55-39 lead. CSB would have set the record at 39 if not for a Yankee Haruna putback at the game-buzzer.
After missing Perpetual’s past two games, Akhuetie returned with a massive 19 point, 12 rebound double-double. Dagangon added 15 points. while JJ Coronel contributed 11.
“After we lost the past two games, I just sat the guys down and had them re-focus on our task at hand. We really wanted to come out and lock these guys (Benilde) down,” said Perpetual head coach Nic Omurogbe.
Perpetual (5-2) also sealed their playoff berth but still await the results of Sunday games for their seeding in Group A.
No Blazer scored in double-digits, with sophomore JJ Domingo managing nine points. La Salle-transferee Yankee Haruna pitched in seven points and 11 boards.
UPHSD (59) – Akhuetie 19, Dagangon 15, Coronel 11, Yuhico 6, Singontiko 3, Dizon 3, Pido 2, Lucente 0, Ylagan 0, Mangalino 0, Sadiwa 0
CSB (41) – Domingo JJ 9, Haruna 7, Leutcheu 6, Dixon 6, Saavedra 3, Fajarito 2, Sta. Maria 2, Pasamante 2, Pajarillaga 2, Domingo JS 2, Pili 0, Belgica 0, San Juan 0, Norberte 0
Quarterscores: 20-6, 28-17, 42-34, 59-41
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