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Altas hold off Knights in overtime, stay alive

Nikko Cabiltes (5) of Perpetual Altas drives to the basket under pressure from Joshua De Villa of Letran.

MANILA, Philippines — Nigerian Prince Eze continued to dish out MVP form as Perpetual Help wore down Letran in overtime, 88-82, to keep its slim Final Four hopes alive in the 93rd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

The 6-11 Eze shot 21 points, including a baseline jumper that gave the Altas a six-point cushion in overtime. He also crashed the boards with 19 rebounds to power the Altas to their fourth win against six losses.

That put the Las Piñas-based squad just a game behind the fourth-running Knights, who dropped to 5-5.

Arellano University, meanwhile, needed not one but two extensions to edge Jose Rizal U, 115-109, in the other game and remain in the semis race with a 4-6 card.

The Bombers took their fourth loss against six wins but stayed at third.

“I knew that in order for us to make the Final Four, I needed to play better and defend harder,” said Eze.

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It was also Jimwell Gican’s first win as Perpetual Help head coach after Nosa Omorogbe decided to go on indefinite leave.

The Altas failed to win it outright in regulation as Jeff Coronel split his charities, paving the way for Letran’s Bong Quinto to drain a huge triple with 4.4 seconds to force the 75-all count.

Gab Dagangon’s three-pointer also fell short at the buzzer.

But Eze teamed up with Dagangon and Coronel in overtime as they combined for 12 of their team’s 13 points.

GJ Ylagan added 18 points, including four treys, for the Altas.

Meanwhile, the NCAA Management Committee yesterday upheld the decision suspending San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez and player Robert Bolick for their misconduct in the Lions’ 72-58 win over the St. Benilde Blazers Tuesday.

“The suspension stays,” said Mancom chair Fr. Glyn Ortega, OAR, of host San Sebastian yesterday.

The suspension disqualifies the players from the individual awards, including Bolick, who is currently at sixth place in the MVP race.

Fernandez, Bolick and Doliguez will serve their suspension when the Lions take on the Mapua Cardinals at 12 noon today.

San Beda assistant coach JB Sison will temporarily handle the coaching reins.


The scores:

First Game

Perpetual Help 88 – Eze 21, Dagangon 21, Ylagan 18, Coronel 10 Pido 9, Cabiltes 4, Hao 3, Yuhico 2, Mangalino 0, Sadiwa 0, Clemente 0, Lucente 0, Tamayo 0

Letran 82 – Calvo 21, Quinto 15, Nambatac 15, Vacaro 9, Balanza 8, Taladua 7, Bernabe 3, Mandreza 2, Gedaria 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Balagasay 0, De Villa 0, Caralipio 0, Pascual 0

Quarterscores: 18-12, 32-33; 57-52; 75-75 (Reg.); 88-82 (OT)

Second Game

AU 115 – Alcoriza 23, Flores 17, Salado 17, Taywan 15, Canete 12, Concepcion 9, Enriquez 9, Nichols 5, Viloria 5, Abanes 3, dela Cruz 0, Meca 0, Filart 0

JRU 109 – Teodoro 30, Mendoza 24, Bordon 13, Abdul Razak 10, Grospe 10, Sawat 9, Poutouochi 4, Lasquety 4, dela Virgen 3 David 2, Mate 0

Quarterscore: 18-20; 43-39; 68-64; 89-all (Reg.); 100-all (OT1); 115-109 (OT2)

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