SAN JUAN City – University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta’s roller coaster campaign in the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) received a major boost after the Altas downed defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 61-55, in continuing action Friday (July 22) at the San Juan Arena. Guard AJ Coronel struck heavily in the fourth period as the Altas broke away from the tight defensive contest.
Coronel started with a three-point play off Rey Nambatac with 1:18 to go and Letran playing with only four men as JP Calvo lay in pain in the backcourt. 59-53. After Bright Akhuetie was whistled for goaltending Bong Quinto’s shot, Coronel then scooted down for an easy transition layup off a Jomari Sollano miss to set the final count with still 28 ticks on the clock.
“We focused on our defense especially after we saw Nambatac score 40 points in their last game,” said Coach Jimwel Gican. “This game is a good sign that we can return to the Final Four after missing it last year.”
Akhuetie was his usual unstoppable self with 21 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks. Gab Dagangon added 14 and Coronel finished with 12 as the Altas improved to 3-2.
“I want to show that I can still play after injuring my knee,” said Coronel. For his part, Akhuetie felt challenged after Coach Gican benched him in the final period in their last game against San Beda College.
Nambatac led the Knights with 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Calvo supported him with 12 points as they kissed their four-game winning run goodbye.
How They Scored:
PERPETUAL HELP (61) – Akhuetie 21, Dagangon 14, Coronel 13, Pido 7, Dizon 2, Eze 2, Singontiko 2, Hao 0, Oliveria 0, Sadiwa 0, Yuhico 0.
LETRAN (55) – Nambatac 19, Calvo 12, Apreku 6, Sollano 6, Quinto 6, Pambid 4, de la Pena 2, Ular 0, Balanza 0, Luib 0, Bernabe 0, Balagasay 0, Ambohot 0, Sario 0.
Period Scores: 6-9, 27-26, 46-44, 61-55.