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Rey Nambatac saves Letran’s season, forces tie with Arellano

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Rey Nambatac saves Letran's season, forces tie with Arellano Basketball CSB CSJL NCAA News  TY Tang Rey Nambatac NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball NCAA Season 93 Letran Seniors Basketball JP Calvo Jerrick Balanza Jeo Ambohot Jeff Napa Eric Pili Clement Leutche Benilde Seniors Basketball

Not wanting his NCAA career to end without a fight, Rey Nambatac proved to be pivotal late in the game, as the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights escaped a valiant College of Saint Benilde Blazers squad, 66-60, Tuesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

“Yun nga, hindi kami pwede maglaro ng ganito. Kailangan maglaro talaga kami as a group, as a whole,” lamented second-year Knights head coach Jeff Napa.

The win snapped Letran’s two-game slide and forced a tie with the Arellano Chiefs, as both sport a 9-9 slate. Their do-or-die game will take place on Friday, October 20.

“A win is a win pero kailangan namin magtrabaho para paghandaan ang Arellano. Ang Arellano, deserve din na mapunta sa ganitong situwayson. Maraming pagkakataon na ang binigay sa amin, mahirap pag masayang,” Napa admitted.

San Sebastian could force a three-way tie if they defeat the Perpetual Help on Thursday, October 17.

Nambatac, who has already submitted his draft application, carried the Knights with 18 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. And he proved pivotal in the clutch.

A Bong Quinto triple was answered right back by an Eric Pili three with 1:09 left, to cut the Letran lead to just two, 61-59. Misses by Dino San Juan and Pili led to a breakaway layup by JP Calvo. However, the Letran floor general overcooked the attempt. Fortunately for him, Nambatac was trailing behind, cleaning up the miss while drawing a foul on Pili to seal their playoff ticket.

“Kasi noong start, merong flat eh. Masakit mang sabihin pero meron talagang may ganun. Di ko alam kung ready sila maglaro today or what. Good thing may mga deserving na nag-step up at ayaw pa magbakasyon,” shared Napa, as Letran suffered a second quarter drought that saw a 12-point lead quickly vanish.

Jeo Ambohot had an excellent outing as well with 10 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks, while Calvo and Jerrick Balanza chipped in 16 and 13 points respectively.

TY Tang ended his maiden campaign with the Blazers with a 4-14 slate, good for ninth place. Gerard Castor, Rene Sta. Maria, Matt Johnson, Carl Suarez, and Renzo Mercado played their final game with CSB.

Clement Leutcheu led the Blazers with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting and 18 rebounds. Pili added his career-high of 16 markers.

The Scores:

CSJL 66 – Nambatac 18, Calvo 16, Balanza 13, Ambohot 10, Quinto 7, Balagasay 2, Bernabe 0, Caralipio 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0, Pamulaklakin 0, Taladua 0, Vacaro 0.

CSB 60 – Leutcheu 18, Pili 16, Sta. Maria 6, Castor 4, Dixon 4, Mercado 4, Domingo 3, San Juan 3, Velasco 2, Johnson 0, Naboa 0, Suarez 0, Young 0.

Quarterscores: 20-11, 28-28, 48-43, 66-60.

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