Wanting to avenge their opening day loss, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights were able to exact vengeance on the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas, escaping with a 82-80 win, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Knights, who are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, were able to get back their 75-78 defeat last July 13.
“Sumablay lang kami sa Beda. Yung mga tumalo sa amin babawiin namin sabi ko nga,” said graduating Letran forward Bong Quinto.
And it was Quinto and co-captain JP Calvo who delivered in the clutch.
Down by one with less than 25 seconds left, Calvo – who was nursing four fouls – took a gamble, pickpocketing Kyt Jimenez. He then threw a beautiful outlet to Quinto for the go-ahead layup.
“Gusto ko talaga manalo. Sinabi ko sa sarili ko na kailangan ko na isugal ito,” Calvo reflected.
Off a timeout, Prince Eze tried to take things into his own hands, faking a hand-off before driving to the lane. He missed on his hook shot, however, which led to a split on the stripe for Quinto.
With no timeouts left, Jimenez ran the length of the court and found a wide-open Rommel Mangalino on the corner. Mangalino missed his jumper, snapping Perpetual’s six-game winning streak.
“Sabi ko naman sa inyo, very unpredictable yung team namin. Yung leaders namin yun nag-perform ngayon. Yung leadership nadadala talaga nila,” said third-year Knights head coach Jeff Napa.
After combining for just 11 points in their win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags last October 9, Calvo and Quinto bounced back. Calvo finished with 18 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals, while Quinto led all scorers with 22 points to go along with nine rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Perpetual, whose Final Four slot is being questioned as the league is currently investigating the eligibility of four of their players, were led by Tonton Peralta with 17 points. Edgar Charcos added 16 points, eight assists, and five boards.
Prince Eze played all 40 minutes of the game, tallying 14 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks.
With a 13-4 slate, Letran locked in solo third while dropping Perpetual to an 11-6 record – good for fourth.
Letran play their final game of the elimination round against the CSB Blazers on Tuesday, October 16. Perpetual, on the other hand, have their final game on Tuesday, October 23, against the San Beda Red Lions.
CSJL (82)– Quinto 22, Calvo 17, Muyang 11, Ambohot 8, Batiller 8, Fajarito 6, Galvelo 3, Celis 3, Taladua 2, Balagasay 2, Yu 0, Mandreza 0.
UPHSD (80)– Peralta 17, Charcos 16, Eze 14, Jimenez 13, Razon 9, Coronel 8, Mangalino 3, Aurin 0, Cuevas 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18, 43-44, 63-63, 82-80