Bonbon Batiller knocked down a tough three-pointer late to help the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights buck a gallant stand by the Mapua University Cardinals, 89-84, Tuesday afternoon.
“Medyo, it’s a bad game,” lamented Letran head coach Bonnie Tan. “Sa stats pa lang, we were outrebounded. It’s unbecoming for us dahil we know we have the advantage. Na-surprise kami na hanggang last second bola pa rin nila.”
Up by as much as 11 points, Mapua clawed back, cutting the lead down to two, 82-84, with 33.9 seconds left.
Letran could not find an open man in the next possession. As the clock winded down, Batiller took the cudgels for the Knights, knocking down a buzzer-beating triple with 19.1 seconds left.
The Knights then made big stops in the endgame, including an Ato Ular swat of Christian Bunag to seal the win.
“Masaya pero it’s a bad game. I’m still happy with the win,” said Tan as Letran went up to 5-1 in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball Tournament.
Batiller had 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block for Letran while Larry Muyang led the way with 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting to go along with nine rebounds.
Jeo Ambohot and Jerrick Balanza added 14 and 11 points respectively.
Mapua, who fell to 0-5, was paced by Christian Bunag’s 17-point, 12-rebound effort. Mapua captain Laurenz Victoria added 15 markers, six boards, four dimes, and three steals.
Letran will next face the CSB Blazers on Tuesday, August 6 at 12:00 pm. Mapua, on the other hand, looks to snap its skid on the same day against the San Beda Red Lions.
CSJL 89 – Muyang 24, Batiller 15, Ambohot 14, Balanza 11, Yu 8, Ular 6, Sangalang 4, Olivario 3, Mina 2, Javillonar 2, Caralipio 0, Reyson 0.
MU 84 – Bunag 17, Victoria 15, Lugo 12, Bonifacio 10, Gamboa 9, Salenga 6, Gonzales 5, Hernandez 5, Nieles 3, Garcia 2, Serrano 0, Nocum 0, Jabel 0
Quarterscores: 19-16, 40-39, 66-60, 89-84