Mark Gallano is fast emerging as one of the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas' key players in 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball tournament.
The 6'2” Gallano proved his worth when the Junior Altas went hard and fast on the Letran Squires in the first period and their strong start allowed them to pull off a 73-57 win in the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball tournament recently at The Arena in San Juan.
With Gallano firing 14 points and hauling down 10 rebounds in the 32 minutes he saw action, the Junior Altas went on to post their second straight win for the solo lead.
“My game was not that good in the first period. But we played composed, according to the adjustments made by our coach,” said Gallano, a 12th grader.
The Altas knocked in four triples in the first period, including two from Gallano, who is from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. His efforts allowed the Junior Altas to take control of the game with their 21-11 advantage.
Gallano now has a two-game average of 14.5 points, making him as one the reliable cagers of the Junior Altas.
Rookie Yukihiro Kawamura topscored for the Junior Altas with 18 points after hitting six triples.
“Maganda ang start namin. Letran started flat. Na-take advantage namin ang flat start nila,” said Junior Altas coach Myke Saguiguit.
Earlier, the defending champion La Salle Greenhills Greenies banked on the inside game of Batang Gilas RC cager Calimag in the final minute of the second period to move away and crush the San Sebastian Staglets, 93-80.
Joel Cagulangan went on to topscore with 20 points and led the Greenies to their first win.
“The boys have started forming up and playing better in their second game,” said Greenies' coach Marvin Bienvenida.
Calimag, who just returned from his stint with Batang Gilas in the FIBA Under 17 World Cup in Argentina, provided the spark that allowed the Greenies to take control of the game.
The Lyceum Junior Pirates, getting 22 points from John Barba, prevailed over the EAC-ICA Brigadiers, 74-63, for their first win in three games.
The Junior Pirates, who drew 11 points from Marj de Leon, picked up their first triumph in two outings. They share a 1-1 win-loss card with the Staglets.