Clutch Coronel carries Perpetual onto win column

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 20, 2017 06:30 PM
Clutch Coronel carries Perpetual onto win column
WINNING FEELING. AJ Coronel brought the big baskets for Perpetual's first win in the season.

University of Perpetual Help is on the board in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament – and this time, there won’t be any jersey mix-up to take it all away.

AJ Coronel’s clutch baskets coupled with Keith Pido’s crucial defensive stop energized the Altas through home team Mapua University for a 63-60 decision on Thursday in Intramuros, Manila.

Coronel’s five unanswered points inside the last two minutes erased a one-point deficit and erected a three-point advantage the visiting team from Las Pinas would keep until the final buzzer.

Pido’s pilfering of Andoy Estrella and Prince Eze split from the stripe then put the finishing touches in Perpetual’s climb out of the cellar.

Versatile swingman Coronel wound up with 10 points and nine rebounds while heady pointman Pido tallied nine points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. “Lahat ng team, kahit maliliit yung minutes, nagtrabaho lahat,” head coach Jimwell Gican said.

The Altas were in command for majority of the matchup until Almel Orquina heated up and shot the Cardinals onto a 54-51 lead at the midway mark of the final frame.

GJ Ylagan and Eze went back-to-back for their team only to see Denniel Aguirre’s floater retake a 56-55 lead for the home team with 2:33 to go.

It was at that point that Coronel went on a personal 5-0 run to put Perpetual on top, 60-56.

Still, Mapua kept coming and was only chasing down a two-point deficit until Pido stole the ball right from Estrella to put the game away for the visitors.

In the end, Ylagan scored a team-high 13 points and Eze posted an 11-point, 21-rebound double-double to give their team its first taste of victory. “Masaya talaga kami kasi galing kami sa dalawang talo, Gican said.

The Altas came out on top in their season opener against College of St. Benilde, but saw the decision get overturned by the league after they wore the wrong uniforms. They then dropped their second game against Jose Rizal University.

Now, the Las Pinas-based squad can get going in the tournament. “Lagi nga naming sinasabi sa kanila, just keep working hard, tiwala lang na kayang manalo. This is it,” Gican expressed.

Tying them with a 1-2 standing are the Cardinals who drew solid contributions from Leo Gabo with 12 points, Estrella with 11 points, and Orquina with 10 points.

BOX SCORES

PERPETUAL 63 – Ylagan 13, Eze 11, Singontiko 10, Coronel 10, Pido 9, Lucente 8, Dagangon 2, Yuhico 0, Tamayo 0

MAPUA 60 – Gabo 12, Estrella 11, Orquina 10, Victoria 9, Bunag 5, Aguirre 5, Raflores 4, Nieles 4

QUARTER SCORES: 19-16, 32-27, 49-40, 63-60

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