Akhuetie overwhelms Pirates late for Altasí third straight
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 29, 2016 04:29 PM
BATTLE OF WILLS. Streaks collided and it was Perpetual's that still stood after their thrilling triumph over LPU.
For most of the matchup on Friday at the San Juan Arena, Bright Akhuetie was being upstaged by Harry Nzeusseu.
That was until the last five minutes when the Nigerian, by his lonesome, powered University of Perpetual Help right through Lyceum of the Philippines University, 71-68.
The Altas were actually trailing by one heading into the final frame before their defense put their opponents in a stranglehold for six minutes. Then at the other end, they scored eight straight points to take a 62-55 advantage.
The Pirates finally broke their silence with a monster slam from Nzeusseu fronting the 8-3 rush that pulled them to within 63-65 with 1:42 remaining. It was at that point that Akhuetie pounded in back-to-back baskets along with a bonus to re-establish a 70-63 lead for Perpetual.
Still, LPU kept coming with Ian Alban and Shaq Alanes conniving to close them to 68-70 with 10 ticks on the clock. Gab Dagangon only split his free throws for the Altas, but it proved to be enough with Alanes misfiring on his last attempt.
Perpetual’s Nigerian powerhouse finished with 13 points, all but three coming in the final frame, to go along with 13 rebounds and three blocks. Dagangon had his own 16-point, 12-rebound double-double to help do the heavy lifting in their third win in a row and fifth overall out of seven games.
Nothing but thrilled by how close the contest was, coach Jimwell Gican said, “Parang championship game! Talagang lahat, gustong manalo.”
He then continued, “Gusto kong ibigay yung credit sa players kasi hindi sila nag-give up.”
On the other hand, the Pirates saw their three-game winning streak come to an end despite the best efforts of Nzeusseu who tallied 18 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. They now stand at 3-4.
PERPETUAL 71 – Dagangon 16, Akhuetie 13, Pido 10, Eze 10, Coronel 7, Sadiwa 6, Oliveria 4, Singontiko 3, Hao 2, Dizon 0, Yuhico 0
LPU 68 – Nzeusseu 18, Ayaay 15, Alban 8, Baltazar 8, Alanes 7, Caduyac 7, Marata 3, Serafico 2, Malabanan 0, Rubite 0
QUARTER SCORES: 19-21, 36-40, 54-55, 71-68
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.