SAINT Louis University Navigators leaned on the late heroics of Shawn Aquisay and Jed Barrientos to sneak past Philippine Military Academy Cavaliers, 80-76, in the ongoing men’s basketball of the Baguio–Benguet Educational Athletic League last Saturday, November 18, at the UB Gym.
The Navigators were trailing by three, 64-67, when Barrientos and Aquisay fueled a 14–1 run in the final three minutes of the ball game to win their fourth game in five outings after a defeat in the hands of the defending champion University of the Cordilleras Jaguars in the group stage.
Aquisay hit a team high 24 points including two back – to back triples during the Navigators close out run in the pay off canto while Barrientos added 17 which set to tone for the squad’s final three minute comeback.
The Navigators trailed early in the first quarter as the Cavaliers led by six at the close of opening canto with Aaron Nathaniel Torres setting the tone for the Fort Del Pilar based dribblers.
PMA was still leading, 19–25, in the 8:01 minute mark of the second period but SLU managed to trim the deficit and slowly tied the ball game at 30 all with 1:18 remaining after a technical foul from the Cavaliers bench.
Barrientos then took over as he solely carried the Navigators on a seven to nothing run for a 37- 30 lead at halftime.
PMA and SLU traded basket after basket with the Navigators enjoying a 57 – 52 advantage going into the final frame of the ball game but the Cavaliers slowly trimmed the gap and momentarily seized the lead at 62 – 63 bankrolled by Allan Paul Mendoza’s tripled and a Gian Franco Dumelod’s fastbreak play with 5:46 left.
Aquisay then drained a short jumper as SLU reclaimed the lead, 64–63 with 5:21 left while Mendoza drilled back to back baskets to enjoy a 64-67 advantage with 3:56 before Barrientos and Aquisay made the final push for the SLU.
Mendoza finished the ball game with high of 36 while Torres added 13 as PMA fell to 3–2. (Roderick Osis)