Gallardo’s late shot lifts Perpetual past San Sebastian
Manila, Philippines – It wasn’t pretty, but Coach Aric Del Rosario will take the victory.
After squandering a 21-point lead in the second half, the University of Perpetual Help Altas took care of the San Sebastian Stags thanks to Ric Gallardo’s late shot, 82-79, on Saturday afternoon, July 5, at the San Juan Arena.
San Sebastian nearly pulled off another come-from-behind win two games after doing the same against the Letran Knights. However, this time around, it was UPHSD that came out with the stops late in the game to obtain the win.
Scott Thompson led Perpetual with 26 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Harold Arboleda and Judric Baloria combined for 37 points.
Jamil Ortuoste spearheaded San Sebastian with 22 markers, as CJ Perez, who was hounded by foul trouble, was limited to just eight.
After shooting just 11-of-31 from the field in the first half, the Stags converted 11 of its 17 shot attempts in the third.
Facing an 18-point deficit in the half, San Sebastian flipped the script in the quarter and snatched the momentum of the game away from the Altas.
Thanks to Perez, who scored on consecutive possessions and created easy scoring opportunities for his teammates, the Stags managed to get within seven, 56-49, with a little under 4 minutes left in the third quarter.
After Baloria’s foul sent Perez to the line – where he made one of two – the Altas responded by nailing a three-pointer to maintain some significant separation between both teams, 61-52, with 1:40 remaining in the third.
However, a number of uncalled for fouls by Perpetual continuously sent San Sebastian to the charity stripe, where they managed to trim into the Altas’ lead.
A spin move by Jovit Dela Cruz towards the end of the period awarded him with a bucket and got the Stags within two, 61-59, entering the final quarter.
Dela Cruz scored first in the fourth, converting on the break to tie the match for the first time. Moments later, a conversion by Perez gave his team its first taste of the lead.
With the Stags on top, 65-64, Thompson was responsible for five straight points to give UPHSD a four-point lead. However, the Stags had another response, unfurling a 10-0 run – six of which from Ortuoste – to grab a six-point lead.
With 2:30 to go and San Sebastian up, 79-73, Arboleda managed to score under the basket to get his team within four. After getting a stop on the other end, the Altas leaned again on Arboleda, who managed to sink two charities, cutting the lead to two.
Following a few empty trips by both teams, the Stags had an opportunity to make the contest a two-possession game but were rejected by the Altas’ at the rim. After which, Thompson found himself open, getting an easy lay-in to tie the match at 79.
With 1:10 to go, Perez was able to absorb the contact and converted a tough lay-up. However, the referees deemed the play an offensive foul on the San Sebastian star, getting him his fifth and disqualifying him from the game.
Later on with the shot clock winding down, Thompson threw up a prayer from near half court which resulted in an air-ball. Nonetheless, Gallardo managed to collect the offensive board just in time for the put-back to put Perpetual up, 81-79, with 20 seconds to go.
Jeick Fabian tried to tie the game not long after, but his floater rimmed out, sealing the loss for the Stags.
Bradwyn Guinto pitched in as well for the losing side, totaling 18 points and nine rebounds, while Dela Cruz finished with 16 points.
The Altas looked the Final Four contender they promised to be before the season started during the first quarter, quickly establishing a 12-0 lead. Not long after, San Sebastian would find themselves down by 21, 23-2, thanks to Perpetual making its first five threes.
The game remained bleak for the Stags in the second quarter when Perez was called for his fourth foul after hooking arm on an opponent in an offensive play.
However, lethargic long-range attempts by UPHSD in the third quarter allowed its opponents to rally back.
The win place Perpetual atop the league standings with San Beda, both of which have 2-0 records. SSC-R, on the other hand, falls to 2-1.
Perpetual (82): Thompson 26, Arboleda 19, Baloria 18, ALano 6, Dizon 5, Dagangon 5, Gallardo 3, Oliveria 0, Bantayan 0, Sadiwa 0, Jolangcob 0
San Sebastian (79): Ortuoste 22, Guinto 18, Dela Cruz 16, Perez 8, Fabian 4, Aquino 4, Balucanag 3, Calisaan 3, Yong 2, Costelo 0
Quarter Scoring: 31-13, 47-29, 61-59, 82-79