BRIGHT IS THE DAY: Akhuetie wins it for Altas against Lions

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 10, 2015 07:49 PM
BRIGHT IS THE DAY: Akhuetie wins it for Altas against Lions
MR. BRIGHTSIDE. Bright Akhuetie came out to play against Ola Adeogun and San Beda.

All the stars came out to play in the new-age rivalry of the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament, but in the end, it all came down to a little-known player who was only sent inside in the endgame.

With the game on the line, Scottie Thompson fumbled the ball, but Nestor Bantayan was there to recover it and immediately dished for a buzzer-beating game-winner by Bright Akhuetie that lifted the University of Perpetual Help Altas over the San Beda College Red Lions, 88-86, on Thursday at the San Juan Arena.

A booming triple from Baser Amer nudged San Beda ahead, 84-83, inside the final minute before Scottie Thompson found Bantayan underneath the rim for an easy basket. Following back-to-back turnovers from two teams, Thompson’s split from the line gave the Altas a two-point cushion until Art Dela Cruz drove into the lane and knotted the contest at 86.

Calling no timeout, Perpetual of course had the reigning MVP make the play, but the Lions’ tight defense forced him to lose possession. Fortunately for the Altas, Bantayan was at the right place and sent the ball to Akhuetie at the right time.

Talking about how proud he is of his boys who just rose to 9-4, a teary-eyed coach Aric del Rosario said, “Nakita ko sa mga bata ko yung hanggang sa huli lumalaban.” Akhuetie finished with a powerful 31-point, 11-rebound double-double while Thompson contributed 14 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, and three steals.

Ola Adeogun pounded in 26 points for the San Beda cause which fell one stop short. The five-time champions are still at second-place with a 10-3 record.


PERPETUAL 88 – Akhuetie 31, Thompson 14, Ylagan 14, Sadiwa 10, Oliveria 6, Eze 5, Bantayan 4, Dizon 2, Cabiltes 2, Tamayo 0, Coronel 0, Gallardo 0, Dagangon 0, Elopre 0

SAN BEDA 86 – Adeogun 26, Dela Cruz 15, Mocon 12, Koga 11, Amer 10, Tankoua 8, Reyes 4, Cabanag 0, Soberano 0, Sara 0, Presbitero 0, Tongco 0, Sorela 0

BOX SCORES: 14-17, 39-35, 61-60, 88-86


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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