MANILA, Philippines – University of Perpetual Help held off an unyielding Emilio Aguinaldo College squad, 76-74, in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament at the EAC Sports and Cultural Center, Thursday, July 26.
The game looked all but over for the Altas after zooming to a 75-69 lead in the final minute after Kim Aurin split his penalty shots.
However, the Generals stormed back with a quick 5-0 run ending in a Maui Cruz 3-ball, 74-75. Off the timeout, Aurin again split at the charity stripe, 76-74, leaving a window open for one last EAC triple.
EAC’s reliable scorer Jerome Garcia, though, failed to get in position due to stifling Altas defense and airballed the potential game-winner.
“The Generals played with a lot of confidence,” said Perpetual coach and 4-time NCAA champion Frankie Lim after his Altas scored a road win.
“Siyempre andito sila sa bahay nila, di ba? We just cannot humiliate them here. Grabeng effort na binigay nila. At the end, it went down to making stops.”
(Of course, they’re here at home, right? We just cannot humiliate them here. The effort they gave out was amazing.)
Perpetual climbed to 2-1 to gain solo 3rd place behind the undefeated Lyceum and San Beda.
Edgar Charcos delivered another impressive performance to finish with 22 points on an 8-of-15 (53%) shooting, 3 assists and 2 steals. The feat came after the former University of the East player dropped a career-high 27 points against Letran.
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Prince Eze barely missed out on a triple-double with 15 points, 22 rebounds and 9 big blocks.
Aurin likewise came close to a triple-double with 12 points, 9 boards and 8 assists.
The Generals also gave the Altas a scare early in the 3rd quarter as they opened up a 12-0 run, 46-38, thanks to Garcia’s long bombs.
Garcia wound up scoring 13 of his team’s 23 points in that period as they ended on top by one, 57-56 heading into the 4th.
Cruz and Garcia paced the Generals with a combined 35 points.
Perpetual (76) – Charcos 22, Eze 15, Aurin 12, Peralta 11, Coronel 6, Razon 5, Cuevas 2, Pedrosa 2, Mangalino 1, Tamayo 0.
EAC (74) – Cruz 18, Garcia 17, Laminou 12, Natividad 10, Bautista 5, Diego 4, Mendoza 3, Gonzales 2, Robin 2, Tampoc 1, Magullano 0, Neri 0, Bugarin 0, Fuentes 0.
Quarter scores: 20-17, 38-34, 56-57, 76-74.
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