UNIVERSITY of Perpetual Help clamped down on defense early on and outclassed Emilio Aguinaldo College, 69-49, to jumpstart its NCAA men’s basketball campaign on Thursday night at The Arena in San Juan.
The Altas, coming off their first Final Four stint in eight years last season, held the Generals to just 16 points in the first half on the way to scoring the lopsided victory.
“Hindi ko akalain na ganun kami lalamang. Sana tuloy-tuloy na,”said Altas coach Aric del Rosario, who missed the services of Nigerian import Femi Babayemi, out with a back injury.
Nosa Omorogbe took over the cudgels left by the absence of his Nigerian compatriot as he scored a game-high 14 points, the same output of Earl Thompson, now the team’s undisputed star following the departure of Jet Vidal.
Thompson seemed hardly affected by a slipped disc injury that hampered his offseason as the athletic swingman scored all of his points in the final period after sitting out the first three quarters.
Rookie Juneric Baloria and veteran Harold Arboleda were also on target for the Altas as they helped the Las Pinas-based squad sustain its double-digit lead.
“Maganda `yung team kasi lahat nag-step up. Walang buwaya. Maganda `yung rotation,” Thompson said.
Perpetual Help (69) – Thompson 14, Omorogbe 14, Baloria 12, Arboleda 10, Dizon 7, Alano 6, Bantayan 4, Elopre 2, Oliveria 0, Lucente 0, Jolangcob 0.
Emilio Aguinaldo (49) – Paguia 12, Happi 8, King 7, Arquero 4, Jamon 4, Mejos 4, Munsayac 3, Monteclaro 2, Castro 2, Tayongtong 2, Morada 1, Hiole Manga 0, Hassan 0.
Quarterscores: 11-8; 31-16; 46-32; 69-49.