NIGERIAN Bright Akhuetie fired 31 points including 10 in the overtime period to lift University of Perpetual Help Altas past Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 86-83, to remain a strong third at the end of the first round elimination yesterday in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The 6’9” behemoth wrought havoc to the Heavy Bombers as he dominated the shaded lane, hauling down 12 rebounds, dishing-off two assists and two block shots to lead the Altas’ seventh win against only two losses.
Singapore Southeast Asian Games standout Scottie Thompson also shared the heroic role for the Las Pinas-based squad with his third triple-double performance for the season on 13 points, 13 rebounds and 17 assists, the last was to Akhuetie, who scored from under the basket to grab the lead for good, 77-76, 2:38 remaining in the five-minute extension.
“Ngayon lang kami nanalo sa JRU mula Filoil. Mahirap talagang kalaban ang JRU kasi marami silang shooters,” said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario.
As expected, both teams fought closely, exchanging leads 15 times and locked the games thrice that brought the sell-out crowd to its feet.
Besides from Akhuetie, also contributing for the Altas was John Gen¬mar Ylagan, who finished with 10 points including five-straight baskets capped by a three-point play off a foul by Scottie Thompson that led to a five-minute extension. Jeffrey Coro¬nel also scored 10 for Perpetual Help.
They were leading by just three points, 73-70, when Dave Sanchez of the Heavy Bombers connected a triple from the right corner to force an overtime.
With the setback, the Heavy Bombers dropped to solo fifth spot with 5-4 win-loss slate. Tey Teodoro led the Bombers with 28 points and six rebounds, while Pontejos settled with 14 and 11 from Sanchez.
In the second game, the Arella University Chiefs survived the defending champions San Beda College Red Lions, 88-84, to claim their sixth win in nine games.
The Red Lions absorbed their second loss to fall to a 7-2 card.