MANILA, Philippines -- Perpetual Help leaned on Earl Scottie Thompson as it crushed Emilio Aguinaldo, 73-65, to tie defending champion San Beda at the top of the standings in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament on Friday.
Thompson dished out a rare triple double of 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists as the Altas booked their third straight win.
"His hard work is paying off, he's a good example to his teammates," said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario of Thompson, who went into the game averaging MVP-like 26.5 points, 10 boards, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and a block in wins over Mapua and San Sebastian.
Thompson's efforts were the first in the league since San Sebastian's Calvin Abueva posted 21 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists two seasons ago.
The Digos, Davao del Sur native finally hit it big after coming one assist shy 2 years ago when he finished with 16 points, 11 boards, and 9 assists in a win over St. Benilde.
"My goal is to really help the team as much as I can," said Thompson.
The Generals, who were led by Jan Jamon's 15 points, fell to their second straight loss in 3 starts.
The Altas appeared headed to a blowout after erecting a 21-point upper hand capped by a Harold Arboleda 3-pointer midway in the third quarter.
But Perpetual Help had a dry spell after allowing the Generals to inch closer at 62-55 with five minutes left in the game.
The Altas then unloaded a 6-0 blitz sparked by another Arboleda trey that zapped the fight out of the Generals for good.
Perpetual Help 73- Baloria 18, Thompson 15, Arboleda 15, Alano 10, Gallardo 4, Dagangon 4, Dizon 3, Bantayan 2, Sadiwa 2, Jolangcob 0, Oliveria 0
EAC 65- Jamon 15, Happi 14, Aguilar 11, Arquero 6, Tayongtong 5, Pascual 4, Onwubere 4, King 3, Mejos 3, Santos 0, Saludo 0
Quarterscores: 12-13; 35-20; 59-44; 73-65