The UPHSD Gym turned into a party on Thursday evening. But it would not have ended that way if it were not for the heroics of AJ Coronel, Edgar Charcos, and of course, Prince Eze.
Hosts University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas were getting whipped by the San Sebastian Golden Stags to start the game. Allyn Bulanadi was on point to start the game, scoring 16 points in the first half alone to tow San Sebastian to a lead that went to as high as 21 points.
“At halftime, I got mad actually,” admitted first-year Altas head coach Frankie Lim.
“I told them, guys, it’s not about the Xs and Os. It’s about your desire to win.”
Behind Edgar Charcos and Rey Peralta, the Altas stormed back in the third canto to make a game out of it. Charcos then found new partners in the final frame, as Coronel and Eze stepped up in the final frame.
And the game went down to the final possession. 76-all, with 3.3 seconds remaining.
Off a timeout, Coronel received the ball. Cool and calm, he waited for the right moment and when it came, he threw a lob to Eze for the tip-in. The Perpetualites went wild.
“It was designed that way. Inexpect ko kasi ide-deny nila si Charcos. Sabi ko kay AJ, you have to be available for the pass, which happened. If ever, if you have that shot, itira mo. Taas mo kay Eze. Ganoon lang ‘yan,” beamed the decorated NCAA head coach.
“It made me look good.”
But for Eze, he just wanted to defend their home floor.
“I don’t want to lose whatever it takes.
“Because I know if I tap the ball, I’m still gonna catch it back. So I went inside. I guess, he knows me very, very well. We’ve been lucky, I mean, a win is a win. And we have to live with that,” shared Eze, who finished the game with 22 points, 18 rebounds, and six blocks.