Univ of Perpetual Help down St. Benilde to claim last Final Four spot in NCAA men’s basketball

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THE University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas booked the last ticket to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Final Four with a 76-64 victory over the College of St. Benilde Blazers on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Center.

Playing without ace forward Kim Aurin who’s out with the chicken pox, several Altas stepped up, including JP Boral, who scored all 11 of his points in the first half to put Perpetual Help in front.

"Pagkagising ko, wala raw yung Kim Aurin," said first-year coach Myk Saguiguit of his prized forward, who was ruled out due to chickenpox. "Sabi ko maglaro tayo para kay Kim Aurin. Let's give it to him. Nag-respond naman mga player natin."

John Abis led Perpetual with 14 points, Jielo Razon added 13 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while captain Jeff Egan also scored 13 markers to go with four boards and two assists.

It was a sweet victory for the Altas, who staved off elimination by winning four straight games.

Perpetual will face defending champion Letran in the Final Four on Sunday.

The other semis pairing pits No. 2 Mapua and No. 3 San Beda.

The loss extended the Blazers’ Final Four drought to 20 years. CSB, the fourth-ranked team in the eliminations, also lost to San Beda in the first play-in last Sunday.

JC Cullar finished with 18 points while Will Gozum recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 boards for CSB. (JNP)

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