Akhuetie with go-ahead lay-in as Perpetual Help stuns San Beda

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Bright Akhuetie had another scintillating performance for Perpetual Help on Thursday night. Highlighting a 31-point show was a posterizer on San Beda's Ola Adeogun.

But it was Akhuetie's last basket that mattered the most.

Akhuetie scored a buzzer-beating layup to give the Altas an 88-86 victory over the Red Lions at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Akhutie got free after Adeogun tried to help in stopping a driving Nestor Bantayan, who dished the assist.

The go-ahead basket capped a crazy ending to the Perpetual Help-San Beda, which has been a story in most of their recent meetings.

With the game tied, 81-all, inside the last two minutes, Scottie Thompson scored on a field goal to put the Altas up with less than a minute to play.

Fellow SEA Games gold medalist and PBA first round pick Baser Amer countered with a triple to give the Red Lions an 84-83 lead.

Bantayan quickly gave Perpetual Help the lead back as he received a Thompson dish for the bucket with 32.4 seconds on the clock.

San Beda bounced back from a costly error by forcing Perpetual Help to a turnover of its own, but Arth Dela Cruz failed to convert a basket off a steal.

The Red Lions got another shot as Thompson only made a split from the line, and Dela Cruz made up for his muffed layup by scoring the equalizer.

With no timeout left for the Altas, Thompson rushed to their attack zone and quickly passed the ball to Bantayan, who saw the open Akhuetie for the dagger.

Akhuetie actually had a double-double as he grabbed 11 rebounds along with four assists, two blocks, and two steals.

Thompson, which leads the league in triple-doubles, nearly had another one with 14 markers, eight caroms, and eight dimes.

Adeogun led five Bedans in twin digits with 26 points.

The win by the Altas officially eliminated the CSB Blazers, who lost to the Letran Knights in earlier action, the Lyceum Pirates, and the EAC Generals from Final Four contention while pushing the San Sebastian Golden Stags to the brink of their own elimination.

Box Scores:

Perpetual Help 88-Akhuetie 31, Thompson 14, Ylagan 14, Sadiwa 10, Oliveria 6, Eze 5, Bantayan 4, Dizon 2, Cabiltes 2, Tamayo 0, Coronel 0, Gallardo 0, Dagangon 0, Elopre 0

San Beda 86-Adeogun 26, Dela Cruz 15, Mocon 12, Koga 11, Amer 10, Tankoua 8, Reyes 4, Cabanag 0, Soberano 0, Sara 0, Presbitero 0, Tongco 0, Sorela 0

Quarterscores: 14-17, 39-35, 61-60, 88-86