University of Perpetual Help needed crucial stops in the final seconds to dispatch Letran, 78-75, for its first win in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Prince Eze stepped up on defense down the stretch, blocking JP Calvo to preserve the Altas’ 77-75 lead with less than a minute left in the game.
After Edgar Charcos split from the line for the 78-75 score line, Eze once again denied Bong Quinto’s attempt. Athough the ball ended up in Calvo’s hands, Letran’s point guard couldn’t get a proper shot up as the buzzer sounded.
“It’s all about finishing games and closing out,” said Altas head coach Frankie Lim as they got to a 1-1 record. “When we were up by three points, all I asked is to make a stop and get the rebound.”
Perpetual, though, wasn’t on the drivers’ seat for much of the fourth quarter as Letran held a 73-65 lead early in the period.
Kim Aruin, who turned the ball over twice in boneheaded plays, capped off the Altas’ 12-0 run with a step back jumper for Perpetual’s 77-73 lead with 1:35 left in the game.
Charcos put up 27 points, 22 in the first half, for the Altas while Jelo Razon had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Prince Eze struggled mightily in the offensive end scoring just seven points on 2-of-10 shooting but grabbed 15 rebounds and had six blocks for the Altas.
Quinto led the 0-1 Knights with 15 points, eight rebounds, and six assists while Calvo had 14 points.