Another overtime game, another win for Wangs Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran.
Wangs Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran battled back from a 24-point deficit and stunned Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda, 93-87, in overtime on Thursday in Game 1 of the 2023 PBA Aspirants’ Cup semifinals at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
Kurt Reyson took over in extra time, hitting seven straight points that put the Knights ahead. That then gave them a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
It’s the second straight OT win for the Knights, who also went into overtime to beat the Centro Escolar University Scorpions on Tuesday to reach the Final Four.
“Uulitin ko lang na Praise God kasi binigyan kami ulit ng pag-asa na manalo. Puro ganito ang game namin, pero pasalamat kami dahil nao-overcome namin ‘yung ganitong trial, especially against a very strong team like San Beda,” said Letran coach Rensy Bajar.
“Ang sama ng simula namin. Pero ‘yung mga players namin… Kumbaga sa ilang taon na, they’re born-winners. Alam nila paano maglaro sa ganitong sitwasyon. Para sa amin, depensa lang talaga,” he added.
Reyson scored 32 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, to keep Letran in the game.
Kevin Santos tallied 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Vince Cuajao added 12. Kyle Tolentino chipped in 10 and hit the game-tying triple in the last five seconds of regulation to force overtime.
It was a frustrating defeat for the Red Lions, who blew an early 34-10 lead and a 44-28 advantage at halftime.
Jacob Cortez led San Beda with 24 points.
Wangs-Letran 93 – Reyson 32, Santos 17, Cuajao 12, Tolentino 10, Javillonar 8, Fajardo 6, Ariar 6, Morales 2, Go 0, Alarcon 0, Guarino 0, Monje 0.
Marinero-San Beda 87 – Cortez 24, Andrada 13, Visser 10, Jopia 10, Payosing 9, Cuntapay 8, Gallego 5, Alfaro 3, Royo 3, Puno 2, Tagle 0.
Quarterscores: 10-25, 28-44, 55-61, 81-81, 93-87.