By Peter Atencio
JP Maguilano struck hard early in the fourth quarter to lift the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals to a 75-67 surprise win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas on Wednesday in the 99th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Maguilano shot a game-high 24 points, to go with nine rebounds for the Generals, who joined the San Beda University Red Lions, the Mapua Cardinals, the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers and the Lyceum Pirates in the early lead.
Three triples from Maguilano and Ralph Robin shattered a 57-all deadlock and touched off a pivotal 12-0 run in the fourth period.
The victory allowed the Generals to give new coach Jerson Cabiltes a rousing debut.
With the count tied at 57-all, one trey from Maguilano and two from Robin gave the Generals enough room to move out of trouble in the last six minutes, 69-57.
Robin banged in 12 points for the Generals, who squandered a 16-point deficit in the first half.
The Generals will have the momentum going into their Sunday encounter with the defending champion Letran Knights.
Carlo Ferreras topscored with 12 points for the Altas.