After seeing the EAC Generals take solo fourth earlier in the day, Colegio de San Juan de Letran needed to snap out of its funk.
With JP Calvo and Bong Quinto leading the way, the Knights were able to give second-year Knights head coach Jeff Napa the perfect birthday gift for his 37th birthday, taking an 84-73 win over the Arellano Univesity Chiefs at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“At least we broke the record na, nakabalik na kami sa winning column,” a relieved Napa said. “Important win ito para sa amin kasi dikit-dikit ang three, four, five, at six. Maraming puwedeng mangyari.
“At least we took care of business ngayon and we executed our game plan. Pambwelo sa amin ito ulit,” he furthered.
Letran raised its record to 6-6, tied for fourth with EAC. Arellano, on the other hand, dropped to eighth with a 4-8 slate.
Calvo and Quinto powered the Knights with 20 points each with the former going 6-for-9 from the field while the latter grabbed 10 rebounds.
“JP consistent naman siya. Although we lost nung past few games, pero nakuha niya na ang timing and nagi-stick siya sa game plan,” furthered Napa. “Yung others ang kailangan sumunod. Good thing sumunod ang iba at naging maganda ang resulta para sa amin.”
Rey Nambatac added 14 points while Alex Mandreza and Jerrick Balanza chipped in eight points each.
But after Letran led by as much as 16 points, 58-42, with 5:18 left in the third frame, Arellano made a furious end-game rally.
Behind Kent Salado and Marwin Taywan, the Chiefs were able to cut the lead down to just six, 79-73, with 39.7 ticks left. A huge scramble 22 second later though did not favor Arellano as the the ball landed squarely on Calvo hands, leading to a wide-open triple that ended the Chiefs’ hopes of a comeback.
Salado was the high-point man for the Chiefs with 23 points to go along with five rebounds, four rebounds, and two steals. However, the Cagayan de Oro-native committed five of Arellano’s 14 turnovers in the contest.
Letran will next face the Mapua Cardinals on Friday, September 22 at 4:00pm in the final meeting for the two squads this season. Arellano, on the other hand, hope to end its skid on the same day against the EAC Generals at 2:00pm.
CSJL 84 – Calvo 20, Quinto 20, Nambatac 14, Balanza 8, Mandreza 8, Gedaria 4, Vacaro 4, Taladua 4, Balagasay 2, Bernabe 0
AU 73 – Salado 23, Alcoriza 10, Flores 7, Dela Cruz 7, Meca 6, Taywan 6, Canete 5, Concepcion 3, Abanes 3, Nicholls 2, Villoria 1, Enriquez 0
Quarterscores: 26-20, 45-36, 68-59, 84-73.
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