Andy Gemao’s remarkable performance led Colegio de San Juan de Letran to another victory in the NCAA Season 98 Juniors Basketball Tournament, this time against Lyceum – Cavite, leading the Squires to an 87-75 win on Wednesday at EAC Gym.
Gemao’s season-high 35 points, along with five rebounds and four assists, helped the Squires secure their sixth win to tie Mapua at the top of the standings.
Letran’s head coach Allen Ricardo had high praise for the 16-year old, who has been a dependable player for the team throughout the season.
“Wala akong masasabi sa batang yan. Siya pinakabata sa amin, yet he has been our go-to-guy. He can do it all,” said Letran’s head tactician.
After only leading by three, 20-17 at the end of the opening frame, the Squires used a 27-10 second quarter to break free from the game and did not let go.
The lead ballooned by as much as 27, 72-45 thanks to Gemao’s split free throws right before the end of the third period.
Joining Gemao were Jonathan Manalili, who contributed 19 points, two rebounds, and seven assists, and George Diamante, who recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
On the other hand, Nat Fuentes led the Junior Pirates with 24 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while Cirian Mulligan and Christian Villa added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Matthew Rubico, the league’s leading scorer, was held down to just eight points on 3-of-5 shooting
Lyceum is on the brink of elimination with a 3-5 record.
Meanwhile, San Sebastian College-Recoletos secured a much-needed victory against the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, 84-69.
Holding just a six point, 61-55 lead at the end of the third, the Staglets used a 23-14 fourth quarter to break free from the game led by Rion Porcadas and Stephen Jardinico.
The Staglets are now tied with La Salle Green Hills for third place, both with a 5-2 win-loss record.
San Sebastian head coach Juan Miguel Martin emphasized the significance of the win as they avoided the possibility of a triple tie at the fourth spot with San Beda – Taytay and the Junior Altas.
“Sabi nga namin every win counts. Bahala na si God kung makapasok kami sa Final Four. Basta sabi ko lang sa mga bata, ‘Mata sa langit, paa sa lupa’,” he said.
Leading the way for the Staglets was Mark De Leon with 28 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and two steals, while Rion Porcadas contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists.
Aniel Acido had 15 points and seven rebounds, while Henry Montemayor added 12 points for the Junior Altas.
Perpetual fell to 3-4 after the loss.
SSC-R (84) — De Leon 28, Jardinico 18, Porcadas 13, Reyes 9, Bandino 5, Geronimo 3, Danag 3, Parba 2, Datario 2, Balbao 1, Caysido 0, Rodriguez 0, Rojas 0.
Perpetual (69) — Acido 15, Montemayor 12, Montero 11, Pagulayan 7, Bernaldez 6, Vergara 6, Mascariñas 5, Valencia 4, Daep 2, Callangan 1, Baldoria 0, Panelo 0.
Quarterscores: 16-15, 42-34, 61-55, 84-69
Letran (87) — Gemao 35, Manalili 19, Diamante 10, Baliling 7, Anabo 6, Silorio 6, Alforque 2, Padilla 2, Navarro 0, Hugo 0, Paguiligan 0, Reyes 0, Cruz 0.
LPU (75) — Fuentes 24, Mulligan 13, Villa 10, Matienzo 9, Rubico 8, Torres 5, Nodalo 4, Pariñas 2, Zi. Espinas 0, Zy Espinas 0, Mointilla 0, Poli 0, Mondia 0.
Quarterscores: 20-17, 47-27, 72-45, 87-75