Letran sealed the third seed in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball playoffs after an 87-76 come-from-behind win over Emilio Aguinaldo College, Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Depending on the outcome of the San Beda-Lyceum match-up, the Knights — who ended their elims campaign with a 12-6 slate — will either face the Pirates in a Final Four series, or take on either San Sebastian or Mapua in a stepladder knockout game. The former will only happen if the Red Lions sweep the elimination round.
“Lahat naman gusto nasa top. Ito yung napuntahan namin eh. Sinasabi ko na lang sa team na it’s not about [how] we start, it’s how we finish the season,” said first-year Knights head coach Bonnie Tan.
Larry Muyang powered Letran with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Despite the imposing presence of Muyang, Letran trailed by as much as 21 points, 39-18, during the second frame.
Jerrick Balanza powered Letran’s comeback in the third canto, giving Letran a 56-55 lead heading into the final frame.
“Thankful pa rin kami kasi ‘di man lang namin nakuha yung gusto naming spot, pasok pa rin kami sa apat. Mentality namin, ‘di kami magre-relax. Kasi may goal kami eh,” said Balanza.
Holding a slim lead 62-61 lead with 7:33 left, Letran went on a furious 13-3 blitz to leave the Generals in the dust.
Bonbon Batiller had 15 points, while Fran Yu scattered 10 points, four assists, and three rebounds.
Graduating general Jethro Mendoza led EAC with 26 points built on six triples. JP Maguliano added 13 points and nine rebounds.
EAC ended its campaign with a 4-14 record, same as last season.
CSJL 87 –– Muyang 22, Balanza 20, Batiller 15, Yu 10, Ular 8, Ambohot 6, Reyson 4, Mina 2, Caralipio 0, Balagasay 0, Sangalang 0, Pambid 0.
EAC 79 –– Mendoza 26, Maguliano 13, Gurtiza 9, Taywan 8, De Guzman 6, Luciano 6, Estacio 4, Corilla 3, Martin 3, Cadua 1, Gonzales 0, Carlos 0, Boffa 0.
Quarterscores: 14-25, 30-41, 56-55, 87-79.
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