The top ranked University of Perpetual Help DALTA (UPHSD) Altas just keeps on rolling. This time the Las Pinas-based squad blasted the San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) Golden Stags, 84-70, to give Coach Aric del Rosario his best start in the NCAA Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The first half was close with the Altas holding a 40-34 lead. With 2:52 remaining in the second quarter, Jon Ortouste found Alvin Capobres in the corner for a three pointer to cut the Altas lead to just four 34-30. The tandem of Scottie Thompson and Bright Akhuetie then powered their way in the paint to head a 6-2 run. A layup by Capobres closed the first half with UPHSD leading 40-34.
At the half, Thompson had already tallied a statline of 10 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Akhutie, on the other hand, had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Moreover, the Altas had already outrebounded the Stags 32-14.
The third canto of the game opened with Thompson assisting on two three pointers by Gab Dagangon and John Ylagan. The Stags then bounced back with a three point play by Bradwyn Guinto and a three-pointer by Ortouste to keep close 48-42. The pace of the game slowed down, however, as the game was plagued with fouls. With the Altas leading 54-43, Perpetual’s Ric Gallardo was called for an unsportsmanlike foul and will most likely be suspended in their game against the Letran Knights on Thursday. The Altas then committed five straight fouls that led to a 9-0 run, five coming from the free throw line. Perpetual ended the quarter with a 7-4 run to give UPHSD a 63-55 lead.
The Altas defense solidified in the fourth quarter. The Aric Del Rosario-mentored squad broke down the zone defense employed by Rodney Santos. Akhuetie drove through the lanes and created open shots for Dagangon. The trio of Dagangon, Akhuetie, and Thompson sealed the game with their drives that either led to layups or free throws. The Stags, at the 1:08 mark, waved the white flag in subbing out Guinto, Ryan Costelo, Mike Calisaan, and Ortouste all at the same time. The score was 82-70 by then. The Altas won the game 84-70.
After the game, Coach Aric del Rosario was proud to have his best start in his NCAA stint at 4-0. However, the smile quickly vanished as he told the reporters on hand that the season is still long. “May 14 games pa sana mag tuloy-tuloy.” Moreover, he still finds holes in the Altas’ game especially with ball handling. “Ang dami naming turnovers. 27! Si Scottie [Thompson] kahit triple-double may eight turnovers.” Nonetheless, he prided that Thompson is still grounded even with all the accolades and endorsements he had received, “mapagbigay na bata siya.”
Scottie Thompson is still continuing his blistering start with 21 points, 15 rebounds, and 14 assists to up his average to 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 9.5 assists. Foreign student-athlete Bright Akhuetie notched in another 20-20 game as well with 20 points and a season-high 23 rebounds. For the Stags, Ryan Costelo top scored with 18 points on 7/14 shooting. He added five rebounds and three assists. Bradwyn Guinto had 13 poitns and eight rebounds.
As a team, the Altas grabbed a total of 64 rebounds, 30 from the offense and 34 coming from the other end compared to the 26 of the Stags. Those 64 rebounds were converted to 22 second chance points. In addition, the Altas assited on 23 of the team’s 33 field goals.
The UPHSD Altas (4-0) next play the CSJL Knights (4-0) on Thursday, July 23 at 4:00pm while the Stags (1-2) face the Knights on Tuesday, July 21 at 4:00pm.
UPHSD (84) – Thompson 21, Akhuetie 20, Dagangon 16, Oliveria 9, Ylagan 6, Eze 6, Elopre 3, Dizon 3, Tamayo 0, Coronel 0, Bantayan 0, Gallardo 0, Sadiwa 0, Cabiltes 0, Pido 0
SSC-R (70) – Costelo 18, Guinto 13, Capobres 13, Ortuoste 9, Calisaan 6, Pretta 3, Vera 3, Mercado 2, Sibal 2, David 1, Bragais 0, Santos 0, Fabian 0, David 0
Quarters: 19-14, 40-34, 63-55, 84-70.
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