After missing the Final Four boat for the last three years, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights barged into the post-season after an emphatic 79-61 win over the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags, Tuesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“Siyempre thankful kami na nasa ganun kaming situwasyon,” said third-year Knights head coach Jeff Napa.
“We still have two games to go bago kami mag-Final Four. Ang iniisip kasi namin we have to take care of our business muna,” the NU lifer added as Letran is currently sporting a 12-4 record — two games behind the Lyceum Pirates.
And the Knights wasted no time in torching the Golden Stags, knocking down their season-high 12 triples while dishing out a season-high 27 assists.
Bonbon Batiller had 15 points built on four triples — tying his career-high that saw him knock down four triples as well against the NU Bulldogs back in September 12, 2015 against the UE Red Warriors.
Koy Galvelo knocked down four triples as well for 14 points.
With the two on fire, Letran led by as much as 17 points in the first half. However, behind RK Ilagan, San Sebastian, who was without head coach Egay Macaraya due to a one-game suspension, stormed back in the third canto, cutting the lead down to seven points.
The Knights though resorted back to their blue-collar defense in the final frame that led to a 18-5 run to gain a game-high 22-point lead.
“Kung makuha man namin yung twice-to-beat o hindi, hindi namin alam yun. Ang kailangan namin paghandaan ay yung mga laro namin,” said Napa.
Larry Muyang and Christian Fajarito provided the inside presence for the Knights, with the former tallying 15 points and 13 rebounds while Fajarito adding 11 markers.
Michael Calisaan paced San Sebastian with 16 points and nine rbeounds while Ilagan added 13 markers.
Letran plays its penultimate game of the round on Friday, October 12 against the Perpetual Altas. San Sebastian, who fell to 4-12, takes on the Mapua Cardinals on the same day.
CSJL 79 — Muyang 15, Batiller 15, Galvelo 14, Fajarito 11, Ambohot 8, Calvo 7, Quinto 4, Celis 3, Yu 2, Taladua 0, Balagasay 0, Banez 0, Agbong 0, Mandreza 0.
SSC-R 61 — Calisaan 16, Ilagan 13, Sumoda 12, Bulanadi 7, Capobres 7, Dela Cruz 4, Valdez 2 , Calma 0, Desoyo 0, Villapando 0, Are 0, Baytan 0.
Quarterscores: 19-10, 42-25, 59-52, 79-61.