NCAA: Perpetual Help ousts St. Benilde to return to Final Four

Perpetual Help vs St. Benilde in NCAA Season 94 play-in. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

University of Perpetual Help showed too many weapons that College St. Benilde found it hard to neutralize, tallying an emphatic 76-64 win on Wednesday for a ceremonious return to the Final Four of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

John Abi and Jeff Egan gamely filled the void left by Perpetual ace Kim Aurin and combined forces with Jielo Razon and Cris Pagaran in a humongous effort that brought the Altas to the semifinals against the Letran Knights on Sunday.

The Altas were right on target from the get-go, racing ahead to a 15-point advantage on a collective endeavor that put the Blazers in a bind throughout.

Jc Cullar’s three midway in the third pulled the Blazers within three, but the Altas swished a couple of threes, remained calm and never again threatened the rest of the way.

Abis had 14 points and Razon pumped in 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead three other Altas in double figures.

Despite gifted with height and length, the Blazers were not able to capitalize after they got beaten off the boards, 54-40, by a smaller but aggressive Perpetual side.

Cullar led the Blazers with 18 points after firing three triples and Will Gozum added 13 points and 13 boards as they exited the play-in stage of the tournament and ended their season as well following an earlier defeat against the San Beda Red Lions.

Aurin, Perpetual’s most reliable pointmaker, had to sit out the game after contracting small pox and could miss the Final Four opener where the defending champion Knights will exercise a twice-to-beat advantage.

The Scores

PERPETUAL 76—Abis 14, Razon 13, Egan 13, Pagaran 12, Boral 11, Omega 6, Martel 4, Cuevas 2, Sevilla 1, Barcuma 0.

CSB 64—Cullar 18, Gozum 13, Flores 10, Nayve 8, Corteza 8, Lim 4, Lepalam 2, Marcos 1, Carlos 0, Sangco 0, Publico 0, Mosqueda 0, Davis 0.

Quarters: 21-14, 40-32, 59-47, 76-64

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