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Letran’s prodigal son knocks down game-winner to lift Letran past Perpetual


Bong Quinto was already banged up after being tasked to defend Perpetual big man Prince Eze, but Letran’s prodigal son was able to muster enough strength to convert a clutch basket with 12.6 seconds left, to lift the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights past the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas, 63-61, Friday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Second-year Letran head coach Jeff Napa commended the character of his team despite playing at the tempo set by Perpetual in the final frame.

“Hindi sila bumigay despite nagrarally na yung Perpetual Help, talagang pinakita yung character ng team especially mga veteran na nag stand out, i-lead yung team namin,” said Napa.

Down 61-56 with 2:23 left after Prince Eze luckily knocked down two free throws, Quinto was able to answer right back with a power move 10 seconds later. Letran then locked down on defense, forcing AJ Coronel to travel. In the next possession, the ball was able to find JP Calvo on the left corner, who knocked down a triple to knot the game with 1:33 remaining.

“Give credit sa mga bata talaga, talagang nagtrabaho sila para makuha yung panalo,” declared Napa.

With Jeo Ambohot struggling to contain Eze, Napa tasked Quinto to guard the Perpetual big man down the stretch. However, an inadvertent elbow by Eze on Quinto prior to committing a turnover forced Letran to sue for time with 23.4 ticks on the clock.

Unbothered, Quinto swooped to the line, knocking down a beautiful finger roll.

#ReadMore  San Beda survives Letran storm for 5th straight win

Perpetual had multiple chances to knot things up, but Eze missed a hook shot. Nambatac was called for a backcourt violation that gave the Altas one last crack to at least send the game into overtime. However, Gab Dagangon was not able to throw up a shot, as time expired.

“A win is a win pero yung tempo kasi ng laro, hindi pabor para sa amin eh. Luckily nakuha ng mga bata,” beamed the multi-time UAAP juniors champion coach.

With the win, Letran took solo third with a 4-3 slate, while Perpetual dropped to 2-4.

The fourth-year forward finished with a game-high 14 points on 4-for-8 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and three assists. Rey Namabatac and Jerrick Balanza chipped in 12 markers each.

Eze paced Perpetual with a huge double-double, 18 points and 16 rebounds, while Dagangon added 10 markers.

Letran will next face the San Sebastian Stags on Tuesday, August 15, at 4:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, will break their tie with the Arellano Chiefs on the same day at 12:00nn.

The Scores:

CSJL 63 – Quinto 14, Nambatac 12, Balanza 12, Calvo 11, Pascual 5, Vacaro 4, Ambohot 2, Balagasay 2, Caralipio 1, Taladua 0, Bernabe 0.

UPHSD 61 – Eze 18, Dagangon 10, Ylagan 7, Yuhico 5, Sadiwa 5, Tamayo 5, Coronel 4, Hao 3, Pido 2, Mangalino 2, Singontiko 0, Lucente 0.

Quarterscores: 14-7, 24-19, 39-36, 63-61

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