3 October 2019
By Maxine Louise Lagman
MANILA, Philippines – Colegio de San Juan de Letran defeats Arellano University,97-84, to be back on the winning column in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
With the win, the Knights improved to a 10-6 win-loss record to strengthen their bid for a spot in the Final 4. They are only two games behind Lyceum of the Philippines University for the No. 2 spot in the standings.
Letran looked to be in charge of the helm with a 28-21 lead in the first quarter, but Kent Salado boosted the Chiefs to a 49-46 advantage at the half.
“Sinabi ko lang sa halftime, it’s a game of chess,” said Letran head coach Bonnie Tan. “We have four quarters. Lumamang tayo first quarter, lumamang sila second quarter, so may dalawang quarter pa na pwedeng laruan at pwedeng balikan.”
Come third quarter, the tables had turned as the Chiefs failed to keep their momentum after committing back-to-back turnovers that led to 14 Knights points, 69-56. Letran took advantage and seized a comfortable 80-66 lead after outscoring Arellano, 34-17.
The Chiefs were able to cut the lead to as low as seven points, 91-84, after two freebies by Art Oliva, but Larry Muyang answered back with a go-ahead undergoal stab. Allen Mina put in a couple of free throws in the end game to fully claim victory.
Bonbon Batiller paced Letran with 18 points and four assists, while Muyang and Jeo Ambohot had 15 markers each. Mina chipped in 12 points, and Jerrick Balanza and Fran Yu had 11 markers apiece in the win.
On the other hand, Arellano dropped to a 4-11 slate despite Justin Arana’s 19 points and Salado’s 18 markers and four assists output.
Letran 97 — Batiller 18, Muyang 15, Ambohot 15, Mina 12, Balanza 11, Yu 11, Balagasay 8, Caralipio 4, Pambid 2, Ular 1, Reyson 0.
Arellano 84 — Arana 19, Salado 18, Gayosa 15, Bayla 11, Oliva 11, Sablan 3, Espiritu 3, Concepcion 2, Talampas 2, Alcoriza 0, Santos 0.
Quarter scores: 28-21, 46-49, 80-66, 97-84.
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