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Basketball

Motivated Knights survive Generals scare to stay in Final Four race


If the chance to bounce back from a crushing loss to San Sebastian was not enough motivation, the team leaders of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights played inspired basketball as tribute to a former mentor, taking an 84-78 win over the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, Friday afternoon.

“Maraming dasal ang kakailanganin namin, pero positibo pa rin ko as long as we play our a game,” said second-year Letran head coach Jeff Napa.

The win lifted Letran’s card to 8-7, and they stay in the heated race for the last two Final Four spots. EAC, on the other hand, dropped to 6-9.

“8-7 is 8-7. Di pa kami pumapasok ng final four. Main goal namin is makapasok ng Final Four muna,” Napa pointed out. “Medyo mabigat yung papasukin namin, nasa sa amin na ngayon kung paano i-ha-handle yun.”

Letran leaders Bong Quinto and Rey Nambatac were fueled by their desire to pay tribute to former Squires assistant coach Bob Lotuaco, who passed away last Wednesday.

Quinto tallied a career-high 27 points to go along with seven rebounds while Nambatac added 19 markers, nine rebounds, and three assists.

Behind 20 first half from Quinto, the Knights raced to a 21-point lead, 50-29.

The Generals, who are trying to salvage a Final Four push as well, rallied back, cutting the lead to just four points, 82-78, after back-to-back triples from Francis Munsayac with 12.3 ticks left.

JP Calvo was able to buck EAC’s comeback with late free throws. A miss by Sidney Onwubere sealed the win for Letran.

#ReadMore  Tankoua frustrated after first game back with San Beda

Calvo added 16 points for Letran.

Onwubere finished with 27 points and seven boards for EAC. Munsayac added 15 points.

Letran look to upset the league-leading Lyceum Pirates on Friday, October 6, at 4:00pm. EAC, on the other hand, take on the San Beda Red Lions on the same day at 12:00nn.

The Scores:

CSJL 84 – Quinto 27, Nambatac 19, Calvo 16, Balanza 8, Gedaria 5, Vacaro 4, Balagasay 2, Taladua 2, Mandreza 1, Bernabe 0

EAC 78 – Onwubere 25, Munsayac 15, Bautista 10, Diego 10, Garcia 6, Bugarin 6, Mendoza I 2, Tampoc 2, Mendoza J 2, Pascua 0, Corilla 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 23-15, 50-34, 72-58, 84-78.

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