PBA-bound Harold Arboleda scored two free throws in the final 0.2 seconds to power University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas’ 76-75 win over the San Beda College Red Lions on Monday in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament elimi-nation round at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Altas were behind by one point, 74-75, when Arboleda got a foul from Arthur de la Cruz in the three-point zone to save the day for the Altas. The 24-year-old Arboleda used two of the three free throws to nail their ninth win against six losses. The Altas are occupying the solo fifth spot.
With the victory, the Altas are just half a game behind Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers and College of Saint Benilde Blazers that are both bearing similar 9-5 win-loss records.
Despite the setback, the four-peat champion Red Lions remain at the solo top spot with 13-3 card followed by Arellano University Chiefs at solo second with 11-4 record. San Beda coach Boyet Fer-nandez expressed dismay over the defeat.
Coach Aric del Rosarion of the Altas, however, commended his wards for the victory, which avenged their 75-77 loss to the Red Lions in their first meeting on August 6.
Rookie Gabriel Dacangon of Cotabato, displayed a dynamic game leading the Altas with 18 points and six rebounds. He fired a jumper that pre-served the Altas’ six-point lead, 72-66, with still 4:18 remaining in the game.
The Altas pressed on establishing a 14-point lead, 63-49 going into the pivotal period. The Red Lions, led by Ola Adeogun and Arthur de la Cruz failed to stretch the lead, 75-74, with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game.