Pirate blockade prevents Altasí entry into Final Four
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 13, 2016 02:43 PM
NOT YET. LPU ruined Perpetual's supposed celebration for their return to the Final Four.
With less than 20 second to go on Tuesday at the San Juan Arena, University of Perpetual Help needed a foul to halt the clock and have another crack at it – only Lyceum of the Philippines University wasn’t going to let them.
Just like how Perpetual needed just one more win to make their way into the playoffs in the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament – only LPU wasn’t going to let it come at their expense.
Reymar Caduyac brought the big baskets and Harry Nzeusseu brought the backbreaker as the Pirates stalled the Final Four entry of the Altas following a hardfought 64-61 win.
With the tally tied at 61 with 1:16 remaining, Caduyac aggressively drove into the lane and fished a foul from their opponents. He only split his shots from the stripe, but that proved to be the go-ahead make as the LPU defense shackled Bright Akhuetie and forced a turnover.
As time was running out, the Pirates crossed the ball over to their side of the court and passed it around before any Perpetual player could reach them. Finally, Akhuetie got to Nzeusseu who then converted both of his charities to put his team up by three.
Still, 1.4 ticks were left on the clock and the Altas were able to call a timeout to set up a play and inbound from halfcourt. The LPU defense stood strong again, however, and Akhuetie’s last gasp heave did not touch any part of the ring.
Already out of contention now at 6-11, the hardfought win was still very much welcome for the Pirates. Nothing but proud of the will his wards showed, coach Topex Robinson expressed, “Pretty much the reason why the games still have bearing for us is we’re preparing for the next season.”
Caduyac wound up with 15 points, including nine of the last 12 for LPU, while Nzeusseu posted an 11-point, 15-rebound double-double.
For Perpetual, it was Akhuetie who fronted the effort with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Their loss drops them to 11-5 – still not assured of a return to the playoffs with matchups against San Beda College and Mapua Institute of Technology coming up.
LPU 64 – Caduyac 15, Nzeusseu 11, Alban 8, Bulawan 6, Alanes 6, Gabayni 6, Rubite 5, Ayaay 2, Marata 2, Serafico 2, Malabanan 1, Baltazar 0, Soliman 0
PERPETUAL 61 – Akhuetie 21, Dagangon 11, Coronel 8, Ylagan 6, Singontiko 5, Pido 5, Sadiwa 3, Gallardo 2, Eze 0, Dizon 0
QUARTER SCORES: 12-17, 27-24, 43-43, 64-61
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.