Thompson stands out as Altas repeat over Knights

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - August 27, 2014 - 5:55pm

Games Saturday

(The Arena, San Juan)

12 p.m. – EAC vs Jose Rizal (jrs/srs)

4 p.m. – San Sebastian vs Mapua (srs/jrs)

MANILA, Philippines – Earl Scottie Thompson came through in the clutch as he helped Perpetual Help repeat over Letran, 67-64, to jump to up to third spot in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City Wednesday.

Thompson, 21, scored five of his 16 points in the fourth quarter while spiking his effort with 13 rebounds and three assists to help the Altas nail their seventh victory against four losses, which was good enough to move them to No. 3.

But the proud son of Digos, Davao del Norte was more apologetic for his erratic play after turning the ball over a game-worst eight times.

"I was mad at myself because the more I try to be cautious, the more I commit errors," said Thompson, who leads the league in the MVP statistical race, in Filipino.

"I'm just happy I was given a chance to redeem myself in the fourth quarter," he added.

Truly, Thompson found redemption in the final period when he buried a 3-pointer that gave the Altas a 62-53 advantage to start the quarter while hitting the two free throws that gave his team a 66-63 lead with 49 seconds left.

It also helped the Altas that they decided to slow it down in the last period after erecting a 59-48 upperhand late in the third.

"We all know that Letran is hard to beat in transition because they have quick, athletic players," said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario. "So I stressed to the players to slow it down and play half court offense."

The Las Pinas-based school thus swept Letran for the first time in years. The Altas won their first round duel, 85-82, last Aug. 9.

After Letran's Reneford Ruaya and Perpetual Help's Harold Arboleda split their free throws, the Knights have 10.8 seconds to tie the game and send the game into overtime but Rey Nambatac misfires on his attempt at the buzzer.

Co-captains Kevin Racal and Mark Cruz paced the Knights with 18 and 16 points, respectively, but they combined for only three points in the final canto that hastened the Knights' downfall.

Letran fell to 4-7 (win-loss).

In juniors' action, the Squires slammed the Junior Altas, 96-56, to remain at second with a 9-2 card, or a game behind the league-leading San Beda Cubs (10-1).

Tommy Gedaria paced four other teammates with double-digit scores with 23 points, most of which came from a league-high six steals.

The scores:

First Game (jrs)

Letran 96 – Gedaria 23, Gonzales 18, Dungan 12, Rubite 12, Balanza 11, Ramirez 8, Magsino 4, Marasigan 4, David 2, Dava 2, Maneze 0, Villasis 0, Reyes 0

Perpetual Help 56 – Chavez 18, Neri 11, Alarcon 7, Tan 6, Sison 6, Villaceran 5, Manaligod 3, Yaco 0, Balisi 0, Umali 0

Quarterscores: 25-11; 46-23; 78-37; 96-56

Second Game (srs)

Perpetual Help 67 – Baloria 18, Thompson 16, Arboleda 10, Jolangcob 10, Alano 8, Dagangon 5, Tamayo 0, Gallardo 0, Sadiwa 0, Lucente 0

Letran 64 – Racal 18, Cruz 16, Tambeling 8, Nambatac 8, Gabawan 5, Luib 3, Quinto 3, Publico 2, Ruaya 1, Apreku 0, Singontiko 0

Quarterscores: 16-21; 38-37; 59-51; 67-64

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