MANILA, Philippines - Nicolas Omorogbe’s steal off Alex Almario broke the Bombers’ make-or-break bid in the last 14.7 seconds and the gutsy Nigerian displayed grace under pressure and sank the insurance baskets that sent the Perpetual Altas to their first NCAA semis appearance in eight years.
Omorogbe finished with 14 points and five rebounds while Justine Alano backed him up with 14 markers and four boards.
Perpetual thus arranged a semis faceoff with three-peat seeking and top seed San Beda College beginning tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The second seeded San Sebastian and No. 3 Letran will dispute the other finals berth.
The Red Lions and the Stags, however, need only to win once to seal another title showdown.
Byron Villarias and John Lopez combined for 36 points for the Bombers, who will miss the Final Four for the first time in six years.
More than the victory and the Final Four appearance, Perpetual already overachieved this season after posting only five wins in 18 games last year.
“I told the boys that I’m happy to have reached the playoff and the boys showed a big fighting heart,” said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario in Filipino.
In juniors play, last year’s finalist St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills banked on Robert Bolick to beat Letran, 75-70, and take the No. 3 spot.
LSGH will thus meet No. 2 San Sebastian while Letran will face top seed San Beda in the other semis clash.