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Thompson’s triple double, Akhuetie’s 31 aid Perpetual in OT win over JRU

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In the first game of the last game day before the NCAA All-star break, the Perpetual Altas took care of business in overtime as they escaped the JRU Heavy Bombers, 86-83 on Tuesday afternoon at the Filoil Arena.

Carrying the hot streak after their miraculous comeback in their last outing, Teytey Teodoro scored his team’s first 6points as the game was poised to be played on a fast-paced tempo. On the other hand, former MVP Scottie Thompson made his noise early on despite being a game-time decision prior to this match. Perpetual had a 9-2 spurt in the middle of the period with their frontcourt doing a good job crashing the offensive glass.

Trailing 13-10 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the opening quarter, JRU fought back with eight straight points from the foul stripe with Paolo Pontejos converting six of it. The last stretch of the first slowed down due to both teams entering the penalty situation but a mini 5-0 run with a strong and-one play by Bright Akhuetie closed the first ten minutes tied at 18.

As the teams get their defensive games going, a tightly-contested second quarter featured a swarming lockdown on shooters from both squads. JRU fielded in a 3-guard lineup that paid dividends from the perimeter with Pontejos and Dave Sanchez finding their mark from outside while Teodoro played as the distributor.

The Heavy Bombers led by as much as seven nearing the tail-end of the first half at 34-27 but coming up huge are the Altas down the stretch as they countered six markers of their own. To cap off their surge, Prince Eze blocked Teodoro in the last play of the second quarter to keep them at bay and only trailing by a solitary point. By the end of the first 20 minutes of action, there were already four deadlocks and eight lead changes.

In the third quarter, JRU threatened to break the game wide open with Teodoro clicking from all cyclinders as the guard made a consistent effort of attacking the Altas’ defense. The Heavy Bombors also made free throws to build a 47-39 middle of the 3rd against Perpetual, who went blanking on long-ranged attempts.

Despite shooting a bad clip from the field, Thompson continued his role as a facilitator by piling up the assists for his teammates to counter and pile consecutive points for his team. They closed out the third frame with a 15-7 run as him and Akhuetie were responsible for the late rally to take the lead as well.

The lead kept on swinging in both sides with a good exchange of points from both teams opened up the final period of play. Fortunately for JRU, AJ Coronel made an unsportsmanlike foul that enabled the Bombers to make a 7-0 run that gave their squad another separation. Meanwhile, John Grospe kept on scoring from down low with great catches from his teammates and help JRU erect a 63-57 advantage with 5 minutes left.

After another exchange of baskets from both teams, JRU maintained to hang on the lead despite Akhuetie still salvaging some points for Perpetual. With a minute left, Thompson made a bad pass that hurt their chances of taking the lead. However, the Altas made a huge stop that led to a fastbreak completed by an 3-point play by John Ylagan from a dish by Akhuetie to give Perpetual a 72-70 lead with 17.6 ticks lect. In the next plays, Thompson split his free throws that led to the game-tying triple by Dave Sanchez from the right wing to tie the game at 73 and send it to an extension.

Sanchez made two key field goals to open the overtime period to give JRU a good head start. However, the deficit was quickly erased by Perpetual as the unstoppable duo of Thompson and Akhuetie did the damage offensively to take back the lead and cap an 85-81 lead with 34 seconds left. After an exchange of turnovers, Pontejos missed a triple as Thompson was taken out of the court due to back issues. Meanwhile, Elopre converted on a free throw to ice the game.

“Ang hirap kalaban [JRU] kasi ang daming shooter,” Coach Aric del Rosario quipped after the game. “Kahit nung dulo tumitira pa rin, mahirap bantayan.” The veteran coach also added that he was proud of how his boys responded in the closing seconds of the fourth and in overtime.

On Scottie Thompson’s injury, the coach remarked that Thompson wanted to play the game from the start. “’Basta makatakbo ako lalaro ako,’” Thompson said to his coach. However, his back has been a recurring for his star guard through the years. He was brought out of the game due to this and Thompson will most probably miss the All-Star Game on Friday.

The Altas were led by foreign student-athlete Bright Akhuetie’s 31 points. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out three assists, stole the ball twice and blocked two shots. Smart Elite ambassador Scottie Thompson, before going out of the game with 5.8 ticks remaining in overtime, had his third triple-double of the season with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 17 assists.

For the Heavy Bombers, Smart Elite ambassador Tey Teodoro top scored for his team with 28 big points on 8/16 shooting from the field and 9/10 form the charity stripe. Teodoro also had six rebounds, four assists, and two steals but committed four turnovers. Clutch Dave Sanchez had 11 points, five rebounds, and seven assists in the losing effort.

The UPHSD Altas finish the first round with a 7-2 slate while the JRU Heavy Bombers have a 5-4 slate.

The Scores:
UPHSD (86) – Akhuetie 31, Thompson 13, Ylagan 10, Coronel 10, Elopre 8, Eze 7, Dizon 2, Bantayan 2, Cabiltes 2, Oliveria 1, Tamayo 0, Gallardo 0, Sadiwa 0.
JRU (83) – Teodoro 0, Pontejos 14, Sanchez 11, Grospe 8, Poutouochi, 4, Cruz 4, Dela Virgen 3, Astilla 0, Estrella 0.
Quarterscores: 18-18, 33-34, 54-53, 73-73, 86-83.

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