Edgar Charcos came up big in the fourth quarter as the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas defeated the new-look Mapua Cardinals, 80-78, in the NCAA Season 95 Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Charcos proved clutch, scoring the last 11 points for the Altas in a gruelling battle against the gritty Cardinals. He ended up with 16 points and filled the stat sheet with eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Tonton Peralta waxed hot from the perimeter, tallying 20 points, including three triples.
"Well, its a show of character for my team," coach Frankie Lim said about the hard-fought victory. "I felt that Mapua is really stronger than our team. In fact, during the preseason we were blown out by 38 points so I was nervous going to the game."
The Cardinals and Altas were all tied up at 69 apiece with seven and a half minutes remaining before Charcos took over for his squad. His bucket at the four-minute mark gave his team a 77-69 lead. But Mapua, spearheaded by its young talent, came roaring back. Laurenz Victoria drilled a 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left to cut the deficit to a single point, 79-78. Charcos split his free throws, but the Cardinals had to heave a half court shot in the closing moments since they no longer had a timeout.
Despite the loss, it was a tremendous showing for the young Cardinals. Sophomore stud Warren Bonifacio had 15 points and nine rebounds while rookie Cyril Gonzales put his fingerprints all over the game with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, and five steals.
"I just thought that this game came down to guts. At halftime were down by six it was a complete turnaround in the third quarter," said Lim. "That felt good. Big game also from (Ben) Adamos, Jielo (Razon), Tonton, and also Charcos, the leader of this team."
It was also Perpetual Help's first game without longtime center Prince Eze, the league's MVP last season. With his departure, new stars like Charcos are set to emerge for the Altas.
The Altas will look to build on their opening day win when they take on the CSB Blazers on Tuesday, July 16.
PERPETUAL 80 - Peralta 20, Charcos 16, Razon 10, Egan 9, Aurin 9, Adamos 8, Giussani 2, Lanoy 2, Cuevas 2, Barasi 2, Lucero 0, Martel 0
MAPUA 78 - Bonifacio 15, Gonzales 14, Garcia 9, Nieles 8, Victoria 6, Salenga 6, Serrano 5, Hernandez 4, Lugo 4, Bunag 3, Aguirre 2, Jabel 2, Gamboa 0, Dela Cruz 0
QUARTERS: 21-22, 39-45, 64-63, 80-78