Neil Guarino carried the undermanned Colegio de San Juan de Letran team to a thrilling 72-70 victory over Far Eastern University to notch their second win in Group B of the 15th FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup on Sunday in San Juan City.
Despite missing the likes of Fran Yu, Louie Sangalang, Paolo Javillonar, and Ira Bataller, Letran still managed to take the dub from the Tamaraws.
With 15-ticks left and the Knights down 70-69, Guarino knocked down the go-ahead bucket at the top of the key. That then brought Letran back the lead, 72-70.
Coming from a timeout, FEU wasn’t able to make a shot. Instead, Royce Alforque stepped out of bounds, sealing the victory for Letran.
Guarino ended with seven markers, four boards, an assist, and a block.
“We’re very happy na nagstep-up yung natitirang mga veteran players natin sa game na to. Hindi bumigay. Ayun lang naman ang instruction namin, walang bibigay. Alam ko kulang-kulang tayo,” said Letran head coach Bonnie Tan.
“Same thing with our opponent, FEU. Kulang-kulang din sila, so sabi ko match lang. Anything can happen sa game na ‘to.”
King Caralipio led the way for the Knights finishing with a game-high 20 points – 14 in the opening period – on 50-percent shooting together with nine rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Meanwhile, Brent Paraiso scored 16 markers to go with three boards, three steals, and an assist.
On the other hand, Xyrus Torres led the Tamaraws with 18 markers, eight rebounds, and four assists. Rodel Guevarra added 13 markers, and seven boards, while Royce Alforque had an all-around performance with 12 points, nine dimes, and six rebounds.
Letran (2-0) will play Lyceum University (3-1) on Tuesday, August 7 at 1:00 PM. Meanwhile, FEU (2-3) will be facing Jose Rizal University (0-3) on August 14, 9:00 AM.
Letran 72 — Caralipio 20, Paraiso 16, Tolentino 9, Reyson 8, Guarino 7, Olivario 5, Go 3, Ariar 2, Gaviola 2, Oliva 0.
FEU 70 — Torres 18, Gravera 13, Alforque 12, Tempra 8, Sandagon 6, Sleat 6, Ona 4, Guibao 3, Bagunu 0, Montemayor 0, Dulatre 0.
Quarterscores: 16-21, 34-33, 52-53, 72-70.
The entire 2022 Filoil Ecooil Preseason Cup will stream LIVE on Smart Sports Facebook page