By Rick Olivares
HARD-LUCK San Sebastian College dedicated an impressive 80-70 victory over University of Perpetual Help to injured teammates Michael Calisaan and Rhanzelle Yong in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Without Calisaan, who is averaging 18.2 points and six rebounds in the tournament, Jerick Fabian and Alvin Capobres picked up the leadership and scoring slack and scored 20 points. They outscored the Altas’ three double-digit scorers—Gab Daganon, AJ Coronel and Flash Sadiwa—who combined for 37 points.
Calisaan was involved in a motorcycle accident last Sunday while at a fiesta in his hometown of Santa Rita, Pampanga. He suffered a mouth injury where he lost six teeth. He is expected to be out for at least one month but should be ready for the upcoming National Collegiate Athletic Association season. Yong is also out for an entire season because of a knee injury.
The Altas were not without their own missing players as their Cameroonian reinforcements Bright Akhuetie and Prinze Eze were also unavailable for the game. Akhuetie was at the finals of another tournament with Mighty Sports while Eze has the fly and stayed inside the locker room.
Without their Africans, the Altas were killed off the boards by the Stags, 47-39, who scored eight second-chance points. Their opponents went zero in that department. The normally sharp Altas were listless and uncoordinated. They committed 23 turnovers and blew six uncontested lay-ups, including two in the dying minutes.
“This was a good win for us, as we all know that Perpetual Help is a very good team even without their imports,” San Sebastian Head Coach Edgar Macaraya said. “I know they did not play their usual game but that’s sports. I am proud of our defensive effort, especially in the rebounds category since we aren’t very tall.”
On Sunday Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson will be at courtside for the eagerly anticipated Ateneo-De La Salle match. Clarkson is in town on vacation and to watch Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The Blue Eagles are 2-1, while the Green Archers are the only undefeated team with 4-0.
Ateneo will be led by CJ Perez, Adrian Wong and Chibueze Ikeh, while De La Salle has the bull-strong Ben Mbala, Jeron Teng and Prince Rivero.
Tickets to the Ateneo-De La Salle Filoil Flying V Premier Cup match at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan are available at the gate and through Ticketnet.