After seven years without a win against the Red Lions, Aric Magic paved the way for the underdog Perpetual Altas as they outlasted San Beda, 88-87, in a thrilling overtime game in the 88th Season of the NCAA at the Arena in San Juan.
“Kahit nag-overtime, sinabi ko na sa kanila na hangga’t may oras, may chance tayo manalo,” said Altas coach Aric Del Rosario. “Isang malaking isda ang nahuli namin.”
The Altas blew a fourteen-point advantage early in the fourth when Baser Amer took charge for the Red Lions, scoring 12 of his 19 points in the final period. With 0.9 left on the clock, the Altas lead was cut down to just three, 72-69.
Amer capped his brilliant quarter with a miracle hail mary shot from the beyond the halfcourt line as time expired. Replays showed the ball leaving his hands with 0.2 of a second left, and the basket was ruled good to force the first overtime of the season.
In the extra period, defending champion San Beda eventually led by four, 84-80, with 35 ticks left. In a rebound play, Yvan Ludovice was whistled for a foul on birthday boy Earl Thompson, who canned his charities to bring the Altas to within two, 84-82.
San Beda missed on their end, and Kyle Pascual gave up his fifth and final foul on forward Anthony Paulino.
Paulino missed his two freebies but teammate Harold Arboleda collared the loose ball and made the game-tying basket, 84-all.
In the ensuing play, Art Dela Cruz fumbled on his inbound pass, with Arboleda recovering the leather. He issued a pass to Thompson who found an open Jett Vidal a few steps away from the basket. Vidal’s short stab gave the Altas an 86-84 lead, 6.5 seconds remaning.
A loose ball foul was then whistled by an official on Dela Cruz. This sent Thompson back to the stripe and the 19-year-old sophomore hit both shots to give the Altas a comfortable 88-84 lead with 6.5 seconds remaining.
Ryusei Koga threw a prayer from beyond the arc that went in for an 87-88 count but Perpetual escaped with the win.
“Nung naka-2 panalo na kami, parang ayaw pa din maniwala ng mga tao sa team namin. Ngayon, dahil sa panalo na to, seseryosohin na nila kami,” said Del Rosario after this third win as Perpetual coach.
“Binigay lang namin yung gusto ni coach,” Thompson said. “Sabi ng teammates ko kanina, birthday gift nila sa akin ang panalo. Kaninang umaga, sumabay pa ako sa Team B namin sa practice para mag-shooting shooting. Positive naman ako coming into today’s game.”
Perpetual led by as many as 14, the last one at 58-44 when Vidal opened the fourth period with a jumper. Vidal, who was waxing hot today’s game, finished with 29 points and hit five triples.
“Nung nag-OT, sabi ko sa teammates ko, wag tayo paakpekto sa tawag ng referees,” he said. “Pag pinansin natin, walang mangyayari. Puso lang.”
The Altas improved their record to 3-1 while the defending champion San Beda absorbed their first defeat for a 2-1 card after winning over Arellano and Lyceum.
Perpetual (88) — Vidal 29, Thompson 23, Paulino 10, Jolangcob 9, Babayemi 6, Arboleda 6, Elopre 3, Omorogbe 2, Alano 0, Allen 0.
San Beda (87) — K. Pascual 25, Amer 19, Dela Cruz 12, Caram 11, Koga 9, J. Pascual 4, Ludovice 4, Dela Rosa 3, Lim 0, Moralde 0, Villaruz 0, Abarcar 0, Bonsubre 0.
Quarterscores: 12-15, 34-27, 56-44, 72-72 (reg), 88-87 OT.
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