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NCAA 99: Letran opens title defense with dominant win over JRU


Letran went on a devastating rampage on both ends of the court, routing Jose Rizal University, 102-64, on Saturday and opening its back-to-back title bid in NCAA Season 99 juniors’ basketball at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

It was an impressive start for the Squires, whose players and coaches collectively shaved their heads bald, posting a superb scoring game fueled by their impressive defense.

All but one of the 15 players who saw action scored at least two points, including six who ended up with double-digit scores, led by Daniel Padilla’s 16.

“Pinapakita namin we’re all on the same page,” said Letran coach Allen Ricardo as to why they sport a bald hairdo.

Meanwhile, San Sebastian and EAC-ICA scored massive upsets on opening day, eking out victories over San Beda (83-79) and LSGH (78-75), respectively.

Down 71-70 midway through the final frame, the Staglets went on an 11-3 spurt to gain control.

Two clutch free throws from Rion Porcadas sealed the win for San Sebastian.

Jhun Penaverde logged 17 points and eight rebounds for San Sebastian while Kit Bonus fired 15 markers.

That wasted the double-double effort of San Beda’s Drei Lorenzo, who got 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Janray Castillo, on the other hand, dropped a day-high 30 points to go with five boards to give Noy Catalan a winning debut as Brigadiers head coach.

Both the Red Cubs and the Greenies made the Final Four last season.

Earlier, Mapua and the University of Perpetual Help bared their true fangs and hurdled their respective assignments yesterday, setting in motion their bids.

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The Red Robins turned back the Arellano U Braves, 82-78, while the Junior Altas walloped the Lyceum of the Philippines U Junior Pirates, 89-75, seizing an early share of the lead.

Lawrence Mangubat fired a game-best 20 points, while Aki Valina scattered 13 for Mapua, which aims to improve on its Final Four finish last season and possibly earn a shot at the 21st crown, the second most in the league behind San Beda’s 23.

“Thankful ako binigyan ako kumpiyansa ni coach,” said Mangubat, a one-and-done rookie from Liloan, Cebu referring to Mapua mentor Yong Garcia.

UPHSD, for its part, drew a stellar performance from Lebron Jhames Daep, who led all scorers with 22 points, including an electrifying putback dunk in the third quarter that helped spark their breakaway.

The 6-7, 17-year-old Daep, whose father Rommel was part of the NCAA five-peat team San Sebastian in the 90s and the team’s current big man coach, rounded up his strong scoring effort with five rebounds, four assists, the same number of steals, and a shot block.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako andyan siya para suportahan ako kaya pinagbubutihan ko,” said the soft-spoken Daep, who hails from Albay.

UPHSD skipper Amiel Acido also came through, chipping in 14 points.

“Win every practice, win every game. The real battle is in practice. Kung ano trinabaho nyo dyan, yun magiging goal this season,” said UPHSD coach John Cleopas.


The Scores:

First Game
Mapua 82- Mangubat 20, Valina 13, Palis 10, Mulingtapang 10, Mananquil 8, Masiglat 6, Rodriguez 3, Salvador 3, Malaga 2, Duque 2, Gragasin 2, Go 0, Bargo 0, Coronel 0
Arellano 78- Distrito 14, Javier 11, Franco 11, Yu 10, Reguera 9, Novillo 5, Mendoza 5, Jimenez 5, Tanudtanud 4, Montesclaros 1, Austria 0, Llantos 0, Vergara 0, Pascual 0
Quarterscores: 29-20, 53-43, 64-61, 82-78

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Second Game
UPHSD 89- Daep 22, Acido 15, Cruz 14, Pagulayan 9, Diaz 8, Baldoria 6, Asuncion, Ayon 3, Nitura 3, Borja 2, Cristino 2, Bernaldez 0, Callangan 0
LPU 75- Sayaman 18, Melchor 11, Mulligan 10, Matienzo 8, Timbol 7, Panerio 6, Lingoste 4, Dag-um 3, Conde 2, Poli 2, Lobos 2, Villa 2, Turno 0, Parinas 0, Julio 0
Quarterscores: 18-23, 48-45, 73-55, 89-75

Third Game
Letran 102- Padilla 16, Silorio 14, Villanueva 13, Manalili 11, Golez 10, De Leon 10, Diamante 6, Reyes 6, Alforque 4, Gazzingan 4, Dela Rama 2, Baliling 2, Navarro 2, Hugo 2, Cruz 0
JRU 64- Pinzon 19, Satparam 8, Enal 7, Rivera 6, To 5, Abequibel 5, Marin 4, Pineda 4, Taparan 4, Castillo 2, Guarino 0, Natividad 0, Correa 0, Capistrano 0, Almario 0
Quarterscores: 24-12, 48-26, 77-48, 102-64

Fourth Game
San Sebastian 83 – Penaverde 17, Bonus 15, Marasigan 15, Porcadas 10, Danag 9, Jimenez 8, Herrera 6, Bautista 5, Roales 2, Jacob 0, Casan 0, Bamba 0, Velasquez 0.
San Beda 79 – Vailoces 22, Lorenzo 17, Mondigo 11, Canete 9, Medroso 5, San Juan 5, Batong Bakal 4, Doliente 4, Wagan 2, Mercado 0, Sollano 0.
Quarterscores: 21-25, 45-49, 64-62, 83-79

Fifth Game
EAC-ICA 78 – Castillo 30, Lumbo 13, Coronel 10, Iraham 8, Luna 6, Campana 4, Mariquit 4, Villarias 2, Bautista 1, Tecson 0, Canonigo 0, Asay 0, Razo 0.
LSGH 75 – Quines 17, Osis 14, Nonoy 9, Ison 8, Tud 7, Sharma 6, Podador 4, Ortega 3, Muyuela 2, Peralta 0.
Quarterscores: 21-21, 34-41, 63-55, 78-75.

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