Perpetual got back to its winning ways and clobbered Batangas-EAC, 82-75, to level its standing in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Shaking off the bruised rib injury he incurred in the Altas’ last game, Nigerian big man Prince Eze bannered the fight with 24 points, 15 rebounds, and eight blocks.
Coach Frankie Lim also drew solid outings from Kim Aurin, who got 22 markers and seven boards, as well as Edgar Charcos, who finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the win.
“We just focused on complete denial on defense. I feel we’re very soft on defense and we allow the ball to be passed before we defend. We need to take the ball out of their hands and we had a good job of doing that in this game,” said the mentor.
Perpetual turned a close 24-22 lead in the second quarter to a 38-27 halftime lead as it staged a 14-5 charge to end the first half.
With Eze leading the charge, the Altas continued to pounce on the Generals and erected a 16-point lead, 70-54, midway in the final frame, but their 17 turnovers prevented them from stretching the lead as they settled for the seven-point victory.
“I think it’s our small mistakes which is stopping us from running away with the game. That’s what we need to correct in our next games,” said Lim as Perpetual evened its standing at 2-2.
Earvin Mendoza paced Batangas (1-5) with 17 points and six rebounds.
PERPETUAL 82 — Eze 24, Aurin 22, Charcos 16, Peralta 8, Villanueva 6, Coronel 4, Tamayo 2, Mangalino 0, Pido 0, Tiburcio 0.
BATANGAS-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 17, Dela Peña 11, Ablaza 10, De Joya 9, Diego 9, Laude 6, Bautista 4, Garcia 3, J. Mendoza 2, Neri 2, Tampoc 2, Maguliano 0.
Quarters: 18-13, 38-27, 60-49, 82-75.