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Friday, June 14, 2024

Omega’s Hail Mary triplecarries Altas past Pirates

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Mark Omega scored 10 points, including a Hail Mary three-pointer that found its mark in the last 2.3 seconds, sending the University of Perpetual Help Altas to a 81-80 upset of the Lyceum Philippines University Pirates on Sunday at the FilOil-EcoOil Arena in San Juan.

The 23-year-old Omega never thought his attempt from the left corner will go in, but it did after he got a quick pass from a well-guarded Jiel Razon.

The win kept the Altas’ Final Four chances alive in the 99th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament.

Enoch Valdez fired a team-high 16 points for the Pirates, but he unfortunately bungled what could have been two game-winning charities in the remaining 26 seconds, handing possession to the Altas.

Marcus Nitura tallied a game-high 18 points and a near double-double with nine boards for the Altas, who picked up their fourth straight win, gaining them a share of sixth spot with the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals on the same 8-7 win-loss record.

The Pirates, with John Barba shooting 14 points, tasted their first setback after five consecutive victories, to slip to second with their 11-4 card, behind the Mapua Cardinals.

“It was a broken play. Jielo (Razon) was supposed to shoot that. But Mark got a good pass from him. He (Omega) practices and trains for this kind of shot. That’s his forte,” said Altas coach Myke Saguguit.

Meanwhile, Will Gozum unloaded 18 points and eight rebounds for the College of St. Benilde Blazers, which outrebounded and eliminated the San Sebastian College Stags, 78-68.

Robi Nayve and Miguel Oczon both knocked double-doubles of 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who boosted their Final Four bid with a 10-5 slate at no. 3 in the standings.

“Very happy they were really boxing out,” said CSB coach Charles Tiu, on Nayve and Oczon on their efforts under the boards.

Two triples from Oczon in the last 7:36 helped push the Blazers to a 12-point edge, 70-58.


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