Thompson sets the table as Altas seize solo first
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 07, 2015 06:46 PM
CHARACTER-BUILDING WIN. Even after trailing for majority of the game, Perpetual was still able to pull out the victory thanks to reigning MVP Scottie Thompson, standout reinforcement Bright Akhuetie, and emerging player Gab Dagangon.
Scottie Thompson was having difficulty finding the bottom of the net on Tuesday at the San Juan Arena, but scoring was never his primary task anyway for the now 3-0 University of Perpetual Help.
The reigning MVP was scoreless in the last three minutes, but made the all the plays to push the Altas past the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, 82-79, all the way to solo first in the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Mapua was in control for majority of the game and were ahead 71-64 inside the last six minutes before two free throws from Thompson led a 10-5 run that inched Perpetual to 75-74 with 2:23 remaining. African reinforcements Allwell Oraeme and Bright Akhuetie then exchanged a couple of baskets to get the score to 79-78 with 64 seconds to go.
Following Josan Nimes’ elbow jumper that fell short, coach Aric del Rosario called timeout and ordered Thompson to make the play. The reigning MVP did not disappoint and made his way down the lane only to send a wraparound pass Gab Dagangon’s way which the latter threw up for an uncontested lay-in.
Now trailing 79-80, the Cardinals forced their way underneath the basket only to lose possession of the ball. The scramble ended up with Akhuetie firing a lead pass to the leaking out Dagangon who quickly converted the layup that proved to be the margin of victory as Nimes’ stepback three at the other end only hit the front of the rim.
Talking about another comeback win, del Rosario said in his post-game conference, “Dun mo makikita ang character ng player. Down kami all the way pero ang importante yung last two minutes.”
Thompson finished with 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and just a point shy of a second straight triple-double while Akhuetie and Dagangon added 24 and 16 points, respectively.
Nimes had his own near triple-double with 16 markers, nine dishes, and eight boards. Three other Mapua players finished in double-figures which still proved to fall short in stopping them from dropping to 1-2.
PERPETUAL 82 – Akhuetie 24, Dagangon 16, Elopre 14, Thompson 9, Eze 7, Coronel 5, Oliveria 4, Dizon 2, Sadiwa 1, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Bantayan 0, Gallardo 0, Cabiltes 0
MAPUA 79 – Nimes 16, Oraeme 15, Isit 13, Aguirre 12, Biteng 8, Stevens 4, Serrano 4, Raflores 4, Brana 2, Dela Rosa 1, Que 0, Menina 0, Layug 0
BOX SCORES: 18-20, 35-39, 59-62, 82-79
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