JUNERIC Baloria and Nigerian big man Akhuetie Bright showed the way with 17 points apiece as University of Perpetual Help held off University of Santo Tomas, 65-56, Thursday to clinch the men’s basketball crown of the 20th Fr. Martin Summer Cup basketball tournament.
Harold Arboleda, who had 11 points, put the Altas on top for good when his triple in the final 9:18 mark hit the mark and shattered a 46-all deadlock.
The huge basket set off a decisive 8-0 run that also included a Joel Jolangcob’s layup off Arboleda’s assist, two charities from Bright, and Baloria’s drive.
Earl Thompson’s drive and Bright’s three-point play pushed the Altas further ahead, 61-50, in the final 5:30.
“Nung nag-kumpiyansa player nung lumaki ang lamang, nag-relax. Pero this time, naging composed ang mga players sa huli at gumana rin ang depensa,” said Altas coach Lester del Rosario.
Last year, the Altas lost the crown to the National University Bulldogs, and then bowed to College of the St. Benilde in the fight for the Collegiate Open honors.
The Altas squandered a 39-28 halftime lead after the Tigers came up with a 16-7 blast off Kareem Abdul’s charities and Louie Vigil’s repeated attacks inside the paint.
Kent Lao’s two charities before time expired in the third period allowed UST to threaten at 44-46.
Abdul led the Tigers with 17 points, while Aljon Mariano had nine and Paolo Pe and Vigil had seven each.
Meanwhile, Adamson won juniors division honors after beating the San Beda Red Cubs, 80-71,at the Trinity University of Asia gymnasium in Quezon City.
Miguel Sasuman and Gerard Fernandez hit 16 and 13 points, respectively for the Baby Falcons, who won the preseason tournament by stunning the reigning NCAA champions.
It was a huge boost for Adamson ahead of its preparations for the UAAP juniors competition which has been moved to the second semester. The Baby Falcons won just one game in their campaign in Season 76.
The Red Cubs fell again after losing the championship of the recently-concluded Filoil preseason tournament to Far Eastern University-Diliman.