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NCAA 97: Fran Yu nails dagger as Letran escapes Lyceum to go 5-0

With Lyceum hot on their heels and with a precarious one-point lead, it was Fran Yu who showed up at the proper time.

Brent Paraiso found the Season 95 Finals MVP alone on the weak side and with space to work on, Yu drove to the basket to put it to a more comfortable three-point advantage at 80-77, with 4.9 seconds left.

Yu ended with nine points, five rebounds, and seven assists, to take the charge for Letran, and kept pace with archrivals San Beda University at the top of the standings.

John Bravo was left alone on the top-of-the-key, though he could not make a game-tying shot, eventually sealing the Pirates’ doom to a 1-5 win-loss record.
Lyceum got some reprieve on the missed Jeo Ambohot free throws, but Yu got a crucial steal to end the game on his own terms.

“Talagang nakatakas lang kami,” Letran head coach Bonnie Tan admitted of the win. “Kita naman natin yung performance ng team na naguluhan din kami sa defense ng kalaban.

“We started using ‘yung advantage namin, which is ‘yung height at medyo nag-pay off naman lalo na sa first five minutes ng third quarter,” he said.

Ambohot, though, had to carry the fight at the post as fellow big-man Louie Sangalang was suspended for this game. The Knights’ captain finished with a double-double clip of 13 points and 13 rebounds to go along with two assists and five blocks.

Rhenz Abando led the balanced offensive day for Letran with 14 points, five rebounds, and a block.

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The Pirates received much lifting from rookie Ato Barba’s breakout game of 20 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals. However, it was Omar Larupay who kept them in the game across the board with his 19 markers, 11 boards, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Letran will try to keep it going against Emilio Aguinaldo College (3-3) on April 20 at 3 p.m., while Lyceum will look to bounce back against Arellano University (2-4) on April 22 at 12 NN.

The Scores:

Letran 80 — Abando 14, Ambohot 13, Yu 9, Paraiso 9, Fajarito 7, Reyson 7, Mina 6, Olivario 5, Caralipio 5, Javillonar 5, Ariar 0.

Lyceum 77 — Barba 20, Larupay 19, Navarro 10, Valdez 9, Cunanan 6, Remulla 5, Garro 3, Guadana 2, Umali 2, Bravo 1, Guinto 0, Gaviola 0.

Quarterscores: 20-24, 39-46, 62-65, 80-77.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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