Perpetual Help went to Bright Akhuetie in second overtime as it downed Jose Rizal University, 89-80, on Friday, to ensure itself of at least a playoff for a Final Four berth in the NCAA Season 92 Men’s Basketball Division at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan.
Akhuetie banged his way to seven of his game-high 28 points in the second extra time, while pulling down another game-best 18 rebounds to power the Altas to their 11th win against four losses, and a win away from making it back to the Final Four after missing the cut a season back.
The Las Pinas-based school also needed to overcome a seven-point deficit with over a minute to go in regulation to complete the escape act.
“We rode on Bright (Akhuetie) in the second overtime, but I think the key was the team’s perseverance in the fourth quarter, the players refused to give up”, said Perpetual Help Coach Jimwell Gican.
Gab Dagangon, Daryl Sinontiko, and Genmar Ilagan chipped in 15, 13, and 10 points, respectively, to help the cause.
JRU had all the chance to snatch the win after Teytey Teodoro drained a triple to give it a 64-57 lead with 1.26 minutes to go in regulation.
The Bombers, however, couldn’t score from there as the Altas closed the regulation with a 7-0 blast, which was capped by a game-tying three-pointer by Ilagan with 23.5 seconds left that ended up forcing OT.
Jose Rizal U also led by two twice in OT, the last at 74-72 on a Teodoro floater with 20.7 seconds remaining.
But Akhuetie scored on a putback off his own miss with eight ticks left, then watched Teodoro missed an off-balanced three-point attempt and Abdul Razak Abdul Wahab bricked a follow up that forged a second OT.
And then Akhuetie just took over from there.
Teodoro wound up leading his team with 23 points, but he was held to just two points in second OT that spelled Jose Rizal U’s doom.
The Heavy Bombers fell to their 9-7 win-loss record.
Perpetual Help Altas (89) – Akhuetie 28, Dagangon 15, Singontiko 13, Ilagan 10, Coronel 9, Pido 6,Sadiwa 4, Eze 4, Gallardo 0, Dizon 0.
JRU Heavy Bombers (80) – Teodoro 23, Grospe 15, Dela Virgen 13, Dela Paz 11, Abdulrazak 6, Pontejos 5, Cruz 4, Mendoza 3, Poutouochi 2, Lasquety 0, Astilla 0.
Quarterscores: 14-11, 27-28, 43-43, 64-64, 74-74, 89-80.