The University Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHSD) Altas caught fire in the second half to pull away with a 59-47 victory over the Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL) Knights in a battle of two National Collegiate Athletic Association teamS in their first game of the 2015 FilOil-Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Knights went off to a good start in the opening frame, untying a 7-all knot to grab the upper hand, 16-9, after a 9-2 run, highlighted by guard Mark Cruz’s two triples. The Altas, however, scored five points courtesy of a trey by Chris Elopre and a layup by Gabriel Dagangon to close out the quarter lagging by two, 16-14.
UPHSD stepped up their defense right when the whistle for the second canto blew, which helped them create opportunities in the offensive end. The Altas, through their stifling defense, forced a 26-all deadlock, after a Gerald Dizon layup with two minutes on the clock. Five more points were made by UPHSD to end the frame in their favor, 31-28.
The halftime break seemed to be of help for the Perps, as they sustained momentum from their previous quarter’s performance. UPHSD opened up an 8-0 run behind Elopre, Flash Sadiwa, AJ Coronel, and rookie Prince Eze to pull ahead, 39-28. Since then, the Altas never looked back and coasted to finish the quarter, 49-34. UPSHD heavily outscored the Knights in the said quarter alone, 16-6.
CSJL could not find the answer to UPHSD’s attacks in the fourth and final frame, as they saw themselves behind by fifteen, 55-40. However, Letran managed to trim the lead down to eleven, 55-44, courtesy of a jumper by Rey Publico and a pair of free throws by Paul Calvo, with a minute and 32 remaining. Unfortunately, that was the closest Letran could ever get, as four free throws from import Bright Akhuetie in the dying seconds of the game sealed the win for the Altas.
“Mabagal lang ‘yung timing nung first half, pero nung second half, buti nagawa nila yung gusto naming mangyari,” said UPHSD Head Coach Aric Del Rosario regarding the team’s win.
Akhuetie led the Altas with a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing down 10 boards. Dizon and Erople had 11 points each. CSJL, meanwhile, were led by Mark Cruz with 15 points and four assists in a losing effort.
The UPHSD Altas next play the USJR Jaguars on Saturday, May 1 at 1:30pm while the CSJL Knights face the FEU Tamaraws on Monday, May 6 at 3:15pm.
UPHSD (59) – Akhuetie 15, Dizon 11, Elopre 11, Oliveria 8, Coronel 4, Eze 4, Dagangon 4, Sadiwa 2
CSJL (47) – Cruz 15, Nambatac 8, Publico 7, Calvo 6, Dela Peña 6, Manlangit 3, Balanza 2
Quarters: 14-16, 33-28, 49-43, 59-47