Clutch Dagangon helps Altas survive Letran in OT for first win
Gab Dagangon finished with 26 points after coming up big in the Altas' first win.
University of Perpetual Help barged into the winning column after earning an 88-87 overtime win over the Colegio de San Juan de Letran for their first victory in the FilOil Premier Cup at the Flying V Centre in San Juan, Friday.
With the Altas down one and 30 seconds remaining, Gad Dagangon pulled up from the top of the key and calmly swished a long jumper for two of his game-high 26 points to help Perpetual Help edge the Knights to improve to a 1-1 record.
The Knights had a chance to counter, but Jerrick Balanza fumbled the ball going straight to Perpetual Help point guard Keith Pido as the buzzer sounded.
Dagangon came out firing for the Altas, scoring 13 points in the first quarter alone to give Perpetual Help a commanding 33-18 lead heading into the second frame.
The Knights gave much more of a challenge in the second quarter, preventing easy drives to the basket and getting Dagangon into early foul trouble. But he still fired off back-to-back triples to keep the the Altas on top, 49-39 after the first half.
Without star Rey Nambatac, it was Bong Quinto who tried to power Letran in the second half, scoring 11 straight points to bring the Knights within two, 52-50 halfway through the third.
However, the Altas responded with three-pointers from GJ Ylagan and Jeff Coronel, who had 17 and 11 points respectively, to preserve Perpetual Help’s 66-57 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Come the fourth, the Knights continued their trend of explosive starts, going on an 8-0 run and forcing an 8-second violation to cut the Altas’ lead to one, 66-65 with 8 minutes to go.
Back-to-back jumpers from Lance Vacaro, and a triple from Maui Bernabe completed their comeback to tie the game at 72 apiece with 3:30 to go in regulation.
Quinto gave the Knights their first taste of the lead, 76-75 with under a minute to go.
Jeremiah Tadua gave Letran the 78-75 lead with 30 seconds to go, but Dagangon forced overtime with a linedrive triple to tie the game at 78.
Bong Quinto led the Knights’ furious comeback attempt with 18 points, and Jerrick Balanza added 17 points as Letran falls to a 0-4 win-loss record.
On his team’s fortitude, Altas head coach Nosa Omorogbe said, “I just kept them going, giving them the motivation that they need.”
“It doesn’t matter what I say to them, it doesn’t matter what the lead is, just believe in yourself and you can win,” he added.
PERPETUAL (88) - Dagangon 26, Ylagan 17, Coronel 11, Pido 8, Sadiwa 8, Lucente 8, Casas 5, Singontiko 3, Mangalino 2, Clemente 0.
LETRAN (87) - Quinto 18, Balanza 17, Gedaria 12, Vacaro 9, Caralipio 8, Bernabe 8, Ambohot 6, Taladua 5, Balagasay 2, De Villa 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Pascual 0, Pambid 0, Mandrez 0.
33-18, 49-39, 66-57, 78-78, 88-87