Benilde battles back in fourth to slip past Perpetual
MANILA, Philippines – The College of St. Benilde Blazers used a sterling fourth quarter blast to complete their comeback from a double-digit deficit and swipe the win from the Perpetual Help Altas in a 77-73 squeaker in the men's basketball tournament of NCAA Season 90 on Wednesday, August 13 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Blazers fought back against a firing Altas squad and overturned a 13-point 54-41 midway in the third by outscoring Perpetual, 19-10, in the final frame to get the win.
"Good thing in the second half we were aggressive enough, we were hustling enough to close out on their outside shots," said Benilde head coach Gabby Velasco.
Perpetual and Benilde exchanged three-pointers in the payoff period until Mark Romero (13 points) hit one that tied game at 70-all with 1:40 remaining.
"Today, we really were so worried about their game the last time because they shot 52% from the three-point line. That was our objective today, to stop their outside shots," Velasco pointed out.
Though Perpetual still wound up with 10 makes from that distance with 4 coming in the second half, Benilde hit timely outside shots as well, as 5 of their game total 8 triples came in the second half.
Paola Taha, who posted 9 points and 15 rebounds, found a way to score from underneath and delivered the go-ahead basket with 36.7 seconds to play to permanently give Benilde the edge, 73-72.
Luis Sinco then trooped to the line for two shots as a result of a technical on the Altas. He split, 74-72, as Jose Saavedra made both his freebies with 6.2 ticks left.
Juneric Baloria, who led Perpetual with 22 points - 16 of those he dropped in the first half - 7 rebounds, and two assists, was then fouled taking a triple with 3.2 seconds on the clock. But made only one of those, which effectively sealed the victory for Benilde.
"Romero wasn't playing well. But the biggest contribution was his three-pointer when we tied the game. But towards the end, we were taking free throws, we were smart enough, we were matured enough to apply what we learned against Arellano," Velasco explained. "We wanted to end the first round on a positive note."
The Blazers leanded on Jonathan Grey's 19 markers on 8-of-10 shooting as well as on Sinco's on 4-of-6 three-pointers.
Benilde ended the first round of eliminations on a high note at 5-4 and are on a three-way tie for fourth place with Perpetual and the Lyceum Pirates. The Blazers have already matched its total wins last season, winning 5 of their last 6 games.
"This will give us confidence in the second round," Velasco said.
Benilde (77): Grey 19, Sinco 15, Romero 13, Bartolo 12, Taha 9, Saavedra 4, Nayve 3, Ongteco 2, Mercado 0, Deles 0, Altamirano 0.
Perpetual (73): Baloria 22, Thompson 20, Arboleda 12, Alano 11, Bantayan 3, Jolangcob 3, Gallardo 2, Dizon 0, Ylagan 0, Lucente 0, Pido 0.
Quarter scores: 11-14, 37-41, 58-63, 77-73.