Coming from a heartbreaking loss against Mapua last Friday, the Letran Knights made sure to avoid the same mistake against the San Sebastian Golden Stags, taking a 99-82 win in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball Tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre, Friday.
With the victory, the Knights improved to an 8-4 win-loss slate to grab the third spot. On the other hand, the Stags drop down to fourth with a 7-4 card in the process.
“Katulad nung sinabi namin — not only sa last game na masakit na talo namin, pati yung talo namin binalik namin yung game namin na first round against them. So yun yung motivational na factor namin, coming from a bad loss. Walang pwedeng isipin kundi to play hard [and] good defense going to the next game para makabawi,” said Letran head coach Bonnie Tan.
The Knights did just that, clamping down on San Sebastian and limiting them to 17 points in the final frame.
Ahead by five points against the Stags, Jerrick Balanza put matters into his own hands. He spearheaded a 14-2 rally to give the Knights a 17-point advantage with 6:26 remaining in the game.
Alvin Capobres was able to trim the lead to 13 off an and-one play, but Letran continued their scoring barrage. Tommy Olivario, Larry Muyang, King Caralipio, and Ato Ular took turns pummeling San Sebastian to seal the win.
Letran would lead by as many as 22 points in the final frame, 97-65, after Christian Balagasay drained a pair from the line with 1:44 to spare.
Five players finished in double digits for the Knights. Muyang and Bonbon Batiller scored 15 points apiece, with the former also tallying seven boards.
Fran Yu scored 12 markers to go along with six assists and two steals, while Balanza also finished with 12. Jeo Ambohot contributed 11 points and seven rebounds in the victory.
Allyn Bulanadi paced the Stags with 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Alvin Capobres added 16 points in a losing cause.
RK Ilagan was held to just eight points on a disappointing 2-of-10 shooting from the field.
Letran will look to sustain their momentum against St. Benilde Blazers on Friday, September 4. Meanwhile, San Sebastian will try and bounce back against the San Beda Red Lions on the same day.
CSJL 99 – Muyang 15, Batiller 15, Yu 12, Balanza 12, Ambohot 11, Caralipio 8, Ular 7, Mina 7, Olivario 4, Sangalang 4, Balagasay 2, Javillonar 2, Reyson 0, Guarino 0, Pambid 0
SSC-R 82 – Bulanadi 20, Capobres 16, Calma 10, Calahat 10, Ilagan 8, Desoyo 6, Sumoda 5, Isidro 4, Tero 3, Villapando 0, Altamirano 0, Cosari 0, Loristo 0, Suico 0
Quarterscores: 27-23, 48-49, 70-65, 99-82
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