UNIVERSITY of Perpetual Help finally found ample production outside its 'Big Three' as it coasted to a 78-62 victory over Lyceum on Wednesday to get back on the winning track in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Earl Thompson, Juneric Baloria, and Harold Arboleda delivered as usual, but they drew solid support from Justine Alano and Joel Jolangcob this time as the Altas snapped a two-game skid and won for the fourth time in six games.
The Las Pinas-based dribblers also halted the Pirates’ three-game winning streak, supplanting their victims in third spot after dealing them their third loss in seven games.
“Sabi namin sa mga reliever, kapag pinasok namin kayo, kailangan mayroon kayong contribution,” Altas coach Aric del Rosario said. “Kasi kung wala, kawawa naman yung mga kasama niyo.”
After being non-existent in the past two games, Alano registered 15 points, seven boards, three assists, one steal, and one block as the undersized big man fared admirably against the Pirates’ promising 6-foot-5 rookie, Joseph Gabayni.
Jolangcob, the starting point guard, added 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block. Even Ric Gallardo contributed significant numbers, chipping in five blocks, four caroms, and two points in 18 minutes.
Still, the Altas’ triple threat shouldered most of the load with Baloria scattering 23 points, nine boards, five assists, and one steal; Thompson pumping in 13 points, 11 boards, seven assists, two steals, and two blocks; and Arboleda adding nine points, three boards, and two assists.
But with plenty of help this time, the Altas managed to establish an early lead, which ballooned to 17 points.
So dominant were the Altas that the Pirates came no closer than 12 points in the fourth quarter when Guy Mbida scored to cut the deficit to 74-62.
UPHSD 78 – Baloria 23, Alano 15, Thompson 13, Jolangcob 10, Arboleda 9, Ylagan 6, Gallardo 2, Oliveria 0, Dizon 0, Bantayan 0
LPU 62 – Baltazar 15, Gabayni 12, Mbida 12, Zamora 9, Bulawan 6, Ko 4, Taladua 2, Elmejrab 2, Soliman 0, Lesmoras 0, Malabanan 0, Maconocido 0
Quarterscores: 15-11, 38-29, 56-46, 78-62