University of Perpetual Help System Dalta bucked the absence of Kim Aurin to beat College of Saint Benilde, 76-64, and secure the remaining Final Four berth in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“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.”
Thankfullly, JP Boral, filling in for Aurin, scored all of his 11 points in the first half to put the Altas in command.
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 means an extended Final Four drought for the Blazers to 20 years. CSB, the fourth-ranked team in the eliminations, also lost to San Beda in the first play-in last Sunday.
The Blazers missed AJ Benson, who was suspended due to two unsportsmanlike fouls against the Red Lions.
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.