Two rookies, Yukihiro Kawamura and Edzel Galoy, came up with big plays at endgame to carry the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas to a 72-69 upset of the multi-titled San Beda University Red Cubs yesterday at the Arena in San Juan.
For the Junior Altas, their win is considered historic as they have not beaten the Red Cubs in the last 10 years. They pulled it off in the start of the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball tournament.
The 5’9” Kawamura, a transferee from La Salle Zobel, forced a turnover with his steal and scored two charities in the last 2.2 seconds to go win the contest for the Junior Altas.
The match was tied at 69-all when Mark Gallano, unable to find an opening underneath, passed the ball to Galoy, who converted on a layup with 4.9 seconds remaining.
“I told the boys to stay composed so we can run our plays and win this game,” said Junior Altas coach Myk Saguiguit.
The Red Cubs, with Zach Estacio leading with 20 points, struggled from 11 points down in the third quarter.
They drew seven points from Estacio in the fourth period, as they rallied and tied the count, 69-all, off Kent Pelipel’s two freebies with 34.2 ticks to go.
Gallano and Galoy showed the way for the Junior Altas with 16 points apiece while Kawamura banged in 15 points.
Josiah Alcantara struck with 12 points for the Red Cubs, while Pelipel contributed nine.
The Junior Altas will undergo a big test on Tuesday when they meet the defending champion La Salle Greenhills Greenies.
The Junior Altas started moving away in third period, on an 8-1 blast which Kawamura capped with his free throw and triple for a 52-43 edge in the final 2:22.