PERPETUAL Help scored the breakthrough that it was deprived of in its opener after outlasting a favored Letran in a thriller, 78-75, to notch its first win in the NCAA Season 94 on Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
Coming off a tough 67-65 loss to the San Beda Red Lions on Saturday, the Altas were done with heartbreaks as they finished the game with a 13-2 blast to displace the Knights who many consider as the darkhorse this season.
Edgar Charcos fired in 21 of his 27 points in the first half before succumbing to foul trouble, but had enough in his gas tank to propel the Altas to the victory.
Charcos led that late charge for the Altas, finding rookie Jielo Razon to tie the knot at 73 before scoring the go-ahead basket with a floater with 2:26 left in the game.
Prince Eze then came up with two huge defensive plays, swatting away JP Calvo’s lay-up with 25 seconds left before repeating the same on Bong Quinto a possession later.
The Knights had a chance to tie the game but Calvo lost the ball before he could release the three-pointer.
“It’s all about finishing games. Closing out. My guys coming off the bench like Mangalino, Peralta and Jasper Cuevas and Jielo Razon, I think they helped us a lot. Especially nung four fouls si Charcos, they came out and played, they showed up,” said head coach Frankie Lim.
“At least na-sustain nila yung game. At one point we were down by eight points, pero composed naman sila enough. In the end, we’re up by three, seconds to go, all I ask was for a stop and a rebound which happened,” he added.
Jielo Razon added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Altas who improved to 1-1 in the tournament. AJ Coronel added 12 points, going on a perfect 4-4 from the field as Kim Aurin added 10 points and four assists.
Eze grabbed 15 boards and six blocks to go along seven points in the win.
Bong Quinto led Letran with 15 points, eight rebounds, and six assists as Calvo added 14.
PERPETUAL 78 – Charcos 27, Razon 13, Coronel 12, Aurin 10, Eze 7, Peralta 4, Mangalino 3, Gallardo 2, Canoy 0, Cuevas 0.
LETRAN 75 – Quinto 15, Calvo 14, Ambohot 11, Muyang 10, Fajarito 7, Yu 6, Balanza 5, Batiller 5, Balagasay 2, Agbong 0, Mandreza 0.
Quarters: 21-23, 45-44, 60-61, 78-75.