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Perpetual Help stuns San Beda, forces rubber match

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Perpetual Help leaned on Gab Dagangon's go-ahead layup and key stops down the stretch to subdue San Beda, 87-83, at the start of the NCAA men's basketball Final Four at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.

Dagangon scored on an undergoal stab with 19.7 seconds left, while his fellow Altas were able to keep the Red Lions from even stealing the win as they melted their foes' twice-to-beat advantage and sent their semifinal series to a deciding match on Tuesday.

With the game tied, 83-all, Dagangon looked to pass the ball to Bright Akhuetie, but Javee Mocon picked the pass.

The ball went back at Dagangon and went for the layup to give Perpetual Help the lead.

The team's defense forced Acer Soberano to take a corner triple that he missed.

Keith Pido sealed the win with two free throws even as the Altas got a steal at the final buzzer.

Dagangon's eventual game-winner capped a career-high 27-point performance to lead the Altas, who last beat the Red Lions in a Final Four game in 2004, which was also the year they last made the finals.

Robert Bolick scored 21 markers for the Red Lions, 17 coming in the second quarter, where they began bouncing back from a poor start, but he did not make a single point in the second half.

Box Scores:

Perpetual Help 87-Dagangon 27, Akhuetie 15, Singontiko 15, Hao 8, Ilagan 8, Coronel 6, Pido 6, Sadiwa 2, Eze 0, Gallardo 0, Mangalino 0

San Beda 83-Bolick 21, Soberano 16, Noah 14, Potts 12, Mocon 8, Adamos 6, Optana 2, Prebitero 2, Sara 2, Alas 0, Bonsubre 0, Carlos 0, Navarro 0, Tongco 0

Quarterscores: 21-9, 41-36, 60-62, 87-83

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno