14 July 2016,
FilOil-Flying V Sports Center,
There are times that big milestones are made up of little victories.
This is what the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas are experiencing these days.
From only one victory last year in season 91, to another one, and probably more in season 92 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Junior Basketball Tournament.
(members of the Junior Altas sing the school anthem after their second win five matches).
On July 14, Thursday, the Junior Altas posted their second triumph in five matches.
They got past the San Sebastian Staglets, 57-45, in their first round encounter at the FilOil-Flying V Sports Center in San Juan.
Four promising newcomers, who I’m starting to get to know about, led the way.
(Coach Barry Tobias calls out a play).
First, the Las Pinas-based Jielo Razon struck with 13 points for the Junior Altas, and then Lance de Leon hit 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Errol Bongay then contributed nine points and six rebounds. Finally, Jasper Cuevas chipped in 11 points.
Their contributions were among the reasons why the Junior Altas are in fifth spot with the Letran Squires.
(Errol Bongay shoots a free throw).
Both squads are bent on becoming contenders for the Final Four this season.
- Play by Play
Razon leads the Altas with five-game average of 18.4 points, which makes him no. 4 overall.
He is no. 6 in rebounding with nine boards per game.
(Jasper Cuevas(12) looks for an open man amongst Justine Disquitado(8), Lance de Leon (15) and Jielo Razon (18)).– file photo.
It was his triple in the last 4:14 of the first period which broke a 7-all deadlock, and touched off a decisive 6-0 run afterwards.
The Junior Altas then took the lead, 15-12, at the end of the period.
In the second quarter, Rob Mendoza gave them a five-point edge with his drive in the last 9:47, 17-12.
Justine Disquitado(8) dribbles past 2 EAC-ICA defenders in this file photo).
“Sabi nila, ito ang pinakakulelat na team. I feel we can match up with any team in the NCAA,” said Altas coach Barry Tobias many weeks ago after their first victory against the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers.
In the third period, Bongay’s penetration, along with de Leon and Razon in the last 5:57 led to an 11-4 run.
The Junior Altas went on take a 14-point lead afterwards, 33-19.
But the Staglets were still able to come back in the final minute of the third, with Kenneth Villapando leading a counterattack which moved them to within six, 29-35, at the end of the period.
In the fourth, Razon asserted himself again with Jasper Cuevas, and the Junior Altas went on to move away, 43-29.
- Other games
The Arellano University Braves, led by Guilmer de la Torre with 30 points and 10 rebounds, turned back the Letran Squires, 87-79, to post their fifth straight win.
This put the Braves ahead of the defending champion San Beda Red Cubs (4-0) and the Mapua Red Robins (4-0) ahead in the solo lead.