NCAA basketball

Mark Omega, Paolo Hernandez sink game-winners as Perpetual, Mapua forge escapes

Martin Mendoza

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Mark Omega, Paolo Hernandez sink game-winners as Perpetual, Mapua forge escapes

DO-IT-ALL. Perpetual's Mark Omega in action in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.


Mark Omega and Paolo Hernandez deliver the game-winning three-pointers for the Perpetual Help Altas and the Mapua Cardinals, respectively, to rack up crucial wins in NCAA men's basketball

MANILA, Philippines – Mark Omega saved the day for the Perpetual Help Altas as they pulled off a nail-biting 81-80 upset of the LPU Pirates in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Centre on Sunday, November 12. 

With Perpetual staring at a two-point deficit, 78-80, Omega nailed a tough three-pointer off the glass and over the outstretched arm of LPU’s Vince Cunanan to give the Altas the one-point lead with only 2.4 seconds left. 

LPU had a chance to snatch the victory from Perpetual in the final possession, but Cunanan’s inbound pass to John Bravo was intercepted as time ran out.  

Omega was one of four Perpetual players to score in twin-digits, finishing with a double-double of 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Cyrus Nitura showed the way for the Altas with a near triple-double of 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists, while Christian Pagaran and Arthur Roque posted 14 markers each. 

Enoch Valdez, who failed to convert on two crucial free throws that could’ve put LPU up by two possessions prior to Omega’s game-winner, topscored for the Pirates with 16 points.

John Barba added 14 points for LPU, while Shawn Umali, Patrick Montano, and Mac Guadana all contributed 11 markers each in the heartbreaking loss. 

Perpetual tied the EAC Generals at sixth place with an 8-7 record and shoved LPU down to No. 2 with an 11-4 card. 

Meanwhile, the Mapua Cardinals rose to solo top spot as they also eked out a thrilling 71-69 escape over the San Beda Red Lions in the final game of Sunday’s triple-header.  

Similar to the previous contest, Mapua’s Paolo Hernandez stepped up when it mattered the most and sank a cold-blooded, go-ahead long bomb with only 14.3 seconds remaining for the 71-69 advantage. 

That was Hernandez’s lone field goal of the match as he missed all his four shots prior to hitting the game-winning triple.

Yukien Andrada had a golden opportunity to give the Red Lions back the lead in the next possession, but his three-point attempt from the right corner with four ticks to play only hit the side of the board.

Clint Escamis was once again all over the place for the Cardinals, filling up the stat sheet with 21 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. 

Hernandez, meanwhile, tallied just 4 points in the hard-earned win that lifted Mapua’s record to 12-3.

On the other side, Jacob Cortez saw his game-high 24-point explosion go for naught as San Beda fell to fifth place with an 8-6 record. 

Andrada backstopped Cortez with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

Finally, the College of St. Benilde Blazers kept their hold of the third spot with an easy 78-68 rout of the also-ran San Sebastian Stags in the curtain-raiser. 

Reigning MVP Will Gozum led all four CSB players in double figures with 14 points, while Robi Nayve and Migs Oczon came up with identical double-double stat lines of 13 points and 10 rebounds. 

Michael Mara also made his presence felt with 12 points and 8 rebounds for CSB, which hiked its record to 10-5.

Romel Calahat paced San Sebastian – which dropped to 5-10 – with 14 points and 9 rebounds. 

The Scores

First Game

CSB 78 – Gozum 14, Nayve 13, Oczon 13, Mara 12, Corteza 6, Carlos 4, Cajucom 4, Sangco 4, Jarque 3, Turco 3, Morales 2, Marcos 0, Arciaga 0.

San Sebastian 68 – Calahat 14, Despyo 11, Re. Gabat 8, Are 8, Escobido 7, Felebrico 6, Sumoda 5, Shanoda 5, Una 4, De Leon 0.

Quarters: 21-12, 43-41, 58-54, 78-68.

Second Game

Perpetual 81 – Nitura 18, Pagaran 14, Roque 14, Omega 10, Razon 9, Abis 8, Boral 5, Gelsano 3, Barcuma 0, Nunez 0, Ferreras 0, Cuevas 0.

LPU 80 – Valdez 16, Barba 14, Umali 11, Montano 11, Guadana 11, Omandac 8, Bravo 5, Cunanan 4, Versoza 0, Villegas 0, Penafiel 0, Fuentes 0, Moralejo 0.

Quarters: 24-25, 39-47, 65-66, 81-80.

Third Game

Mapua 71 – Escamis 21, Cuenco 14, Bonifacio 11, Rosillo 8, Asuncion 6, Hernandez 4, Soriano 4, Recto 3, Igliane 0, Morenos 0, Dalisay 0.

San Beda 69 – Cortez 24, Andrada 15, Puno 9, Tagle 7, Visser 4, Jopia 4, Cuntapay 3, Payosing 3, Royo 0, Gonzales 0, Gallego 0, Alfaro 0.

Quarters: 19-17, 40-38, 54-64, 81-80.


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