- Category: Sports
15 Aug 2013
- Written by Jonathan Perez
UNIVERSITY of Perpetual Help finally found a hole in Letran’s armor as the Altas dealt the Knights their first loss, 80-66, in the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association seniors’ basketball tournament on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Rookie Juneric Baloria and Nigerian big man Nisa Omorogbe took turns in puncturing the hoops for the Altas, who bounced back from a 65-72 loss to defending champion San Beda last month.
Perpetual improved to 6-2, while the Knights and the Red Lions are now tied atop the standings with 7-1 records.
In juniors action, Jose Rizal University kept Lyceum winless following a 78-48 drubbing, while Letran scored a 79-60 victory over University of Perpetual Help.
“Masaya ako at lahat ng ginawa namin sa practice at mga plano namin ay nangyari,” said Altas Coach Aric del Roasrio. “Naka-focus talaga ang depensa namin on how to stop [Raymond] Almazan at si [Mark] Cruz. Hindi kami nagbakasyon at pinag-aralan namin ang laro nila noong break.”
The Altas, behind Omorogbe’s hot shooting, took advantage of the Knights’ slow start and built an early 17-7 lead midway in the opening period.
Perpetual Help never slowed down after that and enjoyed a 31-9 spread as Omorogbe fired 12 markers to outscore Letran. The Altas entered the break with a 21-point lead, 49-28.
The Knights made a brief run early in the third to cut the deficit to 14, 38-52, but the Altas answered with their own blitz to keep Letran at bay.
Letran, behind John Tambeling’s five straight points, moved to within 12, 59-71, midway in the final canto.
But Baloria played the fireman’s role and quashed Letran’s scoring spurt with seven straight points to put Perpetual out of harm’s way, 78-60, three minutes and 40 seconds left.
Letran coach Caloy Garcia still treated the loss on a positive way. “The long break affected our game. We started out flat and we gave Perpetual the confidence to shoot.”
(With Dennis Hilanga)