Altas defuse Bombers in 2OT thriller, secure ‘F4’ playoff

By Ricky Manliguis

SAN JUAN, MM—With “Mr. Brightside” at the helm, Perpetual Help would not be denied.

Bright Akhuetie wrecked havoc in the two extension periods as the Altas punched its way to at least a playoff for a Final Four slot with an 89-80 double-overtime win over Jose Rizal University to jumpstart Friday action in Season 92 of the NCAA at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Nigerian behemoth pumped in 11 of his 28 points in the extra sessions, including six in the first overtime, while the team matched the Heavy Bombers’ offensive artillery all game long as the Las Piñas-based squad improved to an 11-4 win-loss card, tying San Beda for second place.

JRU was actually leading by seven, 64-57, on a Teytey Teodoro three-pointer with just 1:30 left in regulation, only for the Altas to fire a 7-0 blast capped off by a GJ Ylagan trifecta to tie the ballgame and force overtime.

Things got more exciting in the overtime period, as Akhuetie scored on a putback for a 74-all count to bring the game into another five minutes.

Then, Akhuetie took over.

By the time the Bombers retaliated, it was way too late. The six-foot-eight center also grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds, eight on the offensive end, in more than 40 minutes of action.

Gab Dagangon produced a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds with three assists. Daryl Singotinko and Ylagan also had decent numbers as they contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Teodoro paced the Bombers, now at 9-7, with 23 points and seven rebounds before fouling out in the second OT.

He was backed up by MJ Dela Virgen and Ervin Grospe who both produced 13 each across their names, and Jordan Dela Paz with 11.

Box Scores: 

Perpetual Help 89-Akhuetie 28, Dagangon 16, Singontiko 13, Ilagan 10, Coronel 9, Pido 6, Sadiwa 4, Dizon 0, Gallardo 0

JRU 80-Teodoro 23, Dela Virgen 13, Grospe 13, Dela Paz 11, AbdulWahab 6, Pontejos 6, Cruz 4, Mendoza 3, Poutouochi 2, Lasquety 0

Quarterscores: 14-11, 27-28, 43-43, 64-64, 74-74, 89-80

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