MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) -- In their first game without Frankie Lim, the Perpetual Help Altas came away with an 88-87 triumph over Emilio Aguinaldo College in the NCAA Season 95 men's basketball tournament, Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Ben Adamos hit the dagger jumper with 46.7 seconds left for an 88-84 spread, and the Altas withstood a late push by the Generals to clinch the win.
It was only Perpetual Help's third win of the season against five defeats, but it gave interim head coach Myk Saguiguit a winning start in the seniors division. Lim had been placed on leave by the team management following last week's 102-56 rout against San Beda.
"Siguro ito 'yung ano, kumbaga parang bawi ng team. Kasi after that loss against San Beda, masyadong down 'yung team namin. Kumbaga, we need this win very badly. So tinrabaho ng mga bata, and I'm thankful for that," said Saguiguit, the interim coach.
It took a balanced effort from the Altas, with Rey Paralta scoring 19 points and Jeff Egan adding 16. Kim Aurin had 14 points, Jielo Razon added 12, and Adamos finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds. Edgar Charcos finished with 6 points and 8 assists in the win.
The Altas led by as much as 15 points and were ahead, 47-39, at the half, but the Generals steadily worked their way back behind the backcourt tandem of CJ Cadua and Marwin Taywan.
Perpetual Help took an 83-75 lead off a Peralta lay-up, but free throws by JC Luciano and JP Maguliano, and a booming three-pointer by Cadua, put the Generals right back in the game, 83-81, with 3:32 left to play.
The Altas would push ahead, 86-82, thanks to a clutch jump shot by Egan at the 2:32 mark, and they got a stop when Cadua's triple rimmed out. But with under a minute left, Taywan got to the rim and converted a floater that made it a two-point game, 86-84.
Adamos had the answer for Perpetual Help. The big man popped out for a jump shot that restored their four-point advantage with 46.7 seconds left, and the Altas forced Taywan into a tough miss from beyond the arc in their next possession.
EAC last threatened when Cadua nailed a triple with 1.5 seconds to go, but it was too little, too late for the Generals.
Cadua finished with 22 points, while Taywan had 21 points and 7 assists. Maguliano finished with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The hard-luck Generals lost their sixth game in a row, dropping to 1-7 in the season.
PERPETUAL 88 - Peralta 19, Egan 16, Aurin 14, Razon 12, Adamos 11, Charcos 6, Cuevas 4, Sevilla 3, Martel 3, Barasi 0, Tamayo 0
EAC 87 - Cadua 22, Taywan 21, Maguliano 15, Luciano 12, Mendoza 5, Gurtiza 4, Martin 3, Carlos 3, Dayrit 1, Tampoc 1, Estacio 0, Gonzales 0, De Guzman 0
QUARTER SCORES: 25-14, 47-39, 68-63, 88-87.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.