Fran Yu showed nerves of steel, nailing big shots to lift Letran to a crucial 87-74 win over Saint Benilde in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball Tournament, Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“Yung mindset going into the game, pinrepare talaga namin ito. Ayaw namin mangyari yung nagre-relax kami. Ayaw namin pakawalan yung ganitong klase ng laro. All games are very important,” said first-year Letran head coach Bonnie Tan.
Yu, a former UE Red Warrior, drained a huge triple with early in the final frame that gave Letran a 67-65 lead. Though Benilde were able to knot things up, Yu’s shot provided the spark for a huge endgame rally for the Knights.
Bonbon Batiller, Larry Muyang, and Ato Ular helped give Letran a 79-72 edge with 2:14 left. Yu then finished what he started, scoring six straight points to leave Benilde grasping.
Yu had 19 points, eight assists, and four rebounds in the game to lead Letran to a 9-4 slate — good for solo third.
“Honestly, all teams have goals and we talked about our position right now. Our goal right now is to get number two. We have to win these kinds of games,” said Tan.
Ular had 20 points on a 75-percent shooting clip to go along with eight boards while Batiller added 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Larry Muyang chipped in 10 markers, but Jerrick Balanza was limited to just eight markers.
Benilde lost their fourth straight game and six of the last seven after a school-best 5-0 start. They also only had Yankie Haruna score in double-figures, as he had 19 points.
Justin Gutang, who fouled out with 3:07 left, was limited to just nine points on 3-of-7 shooting.
Letran will next face the Lyceum Pirates on Friday at 4:00 pm. On the other hand, Benilde look to end their skid on the same day against the Arellano Chiefs at 2:00 pm.
CSJL 87 – Ular 20, Yu 19, Batiller 13, Muyang 10, Balanza 8, Ambohot 6, Caralipio 5, Olivario 4, Mina 2, Balagasay 0, Reyson 0, Javillonar 0
CSB 74 – Haruna 19, Gutang 9, Dixon 7, Carlos 6, Leutcheu 6, Naboa 6, Young 6, Belgica 6, Sangco 4, Nayve 3, Flores 2
Quarterscores: 24-17, 36-40, 64-61, 87-74
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