MANILA, Philippines – Letran squandered its huge lead before fighting off defending champion San Beda, 74-67, in the NCAA Season 89 Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Raymond Almazan led a balanced effort for the Knights, who reclaimed solo first place with an 8-1 record, with 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
“Test of character for the team, they really wanted to prove something,” said Letran coach Caloy Garcia.
Rookie Ford Ruaya gave Letran a lift with a career-best 15 points, including five crucial points down the stretch.
The Knights led by as much as 18, 27-9, late in the first quarter before the Red Lions, who drew 27 points and 15 rebounds from Ola Adeogun, came back and even take a one-point edge, 54-53, at the 2:06 mark of the third period.