JUNERIC Baloria fired 23 points on top of nine rebounds as University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (UPHSD) Altas snapped the Lyceum University of the Philippines Pirates’ three-game winning run with a 78-62 win on Wednesday in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament elimination round at the San Juan Arena.
Baloria, a native of Lanao del Norte, led UPHSD in securing its fourth win.
The Altas, with a 4-2 slate are now solo second, just a game behind co-leaders San Beda College Red Lions and Arellano University Chiefs, which were tied at the top of the standings with identical 5-1 cards.
Baloria’s spirited play allowed the Altas to establish a 17-point lead, 68-51, on the former’s lay up with still 5:43 remaining. The Pirates tried to recover through the effort of Dexter Zamora and Cameroonian Guy Mellon Essono Mbida but Justin Alano and Ric Gallardo got in the way to preserve the Altas’ lead going into the crucial stage of the game.
Coach Aric del Rosario of the Altas praised his wards for their effort to bounce back after losing two straight matches.
The Lyceum Pirates, with 4-3 record dropped to solo third but remain a game ahead of the San Sebastian College Stags, Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers and College of Saint Benilde Blazers, all three bearing similar 3-3 slates were locked in the fourth to sixth spots.
Alano finished with 16 points for the Altas while Wilson Baltazar notched 15 points for the Lyceum Pirates.