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Akhuetie scorches late as Perpetual Help downs JRU in OT

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—Bright Akhuetie sizzled in the fourth period and the overtime as Perpetual Help ended its NCAA first round campaign with an 86-83 win over JRU at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Tuesday.

Akhuetie tallied 17 points in the final 15 minutes while going nearly single-handed in lifting the Altas over the Heavy Bombers in the extension to move up to third place midway into Season 91.

JRU led by five points, 70-65, with 2:57 left in regulation, but Akhuetie scored on a quick layup and John Ylagan scored five straight to give Perpetual Help a 72-70 advantage with 17.6 seconds left.

Teytey Teodoro, who played hero in the Heavy Bombers' come-from-behind win against the Mapua Cardinals, missed a hurried three-pointer, and Scottie Thompson collared the rebound.

Thompson, who played almost the entire game exactly a week after spraining his ankle against EAC, only split his free throws off a quick foul, giving JRU a chance to force overtime.

Dave Sanchez then hit a triple from the right wing to tie the game, 73-all, with 1.2 seconds left.

Akhuetie had a chance to steal the win in regulation, but he muffed a teardrop as time expired, effectively sending the game to overtime.

Sanchez continued his endgame heroics by scoring back-to-back field goals to give the Bombers a 78-75 lead with 3:53 remaining.

But Akhuetie went on 10-3 run by himself to give the Altas an 85-81 cushion with 34.8 seconds remaining.

Abdoul Poutouochi lost the ball in the next play, but his JRU team got the ball back as Thompson dished a bad pass.

Paulo Pontejos, however, muffed a three-pointer, and Cris Elopre appeared to have sealed the victory for Perpetual Help with a free throw with 8.7 seconds to go.

But Ylagan fouled Teodoro while taking a triple with 1.3 seconds left. Teodoro made his first two charities while he intentionally missed the third, but the Bombers failed to launch a three-pointer in the end.

Akhuetie finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals for Perpetual Help, while Thompson had his third triple-double of the season with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 17 assists along with three steals before leaving the game with an apparent back spasm.

Teodoro led JRU with 28 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Box Scores:

Perpetual Help 86-Akhuetie 31, Thompson 13, Coronel 10, Ylagan 10, Elopre 8, Eze 7, Bantayan 2, Cabiltes 2, Dizon 2, Oliveria 1, Gallardo 0, Sadiwa 0

JRU 83-Teodoro 28, Pontejos 14, Sanchez 11, Grospe 8, Dela Paz 6, Abdul-Wahab 5, Poutouochi 4, Cruz 4, Dela Virgen 3, Astilla 0, Estrella 0

Quarterscores: 18-18, 33-34, 54-53, 73-73, 86-83