Letran took Arellano out of its offensive game in the first three quarters while getting a lift from rookie John Tambeling to coast to a 70-59 victory last night in the 89th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
With Raymond Almazan dominant at the paint, the Knights limited the Chiefs to a measly 36 points up until the third period on their way to a 10th win in 12 games and a tie with idle San Beda at the top.
Surprisingly thrust into the starting lineup, Tambeling made a big impact, firing 15 points in just 13 minutes of action, while Mark Cruz and Almazan contributed 12 points each.
Tambeling anchored the Knights’ strong start, scoring 10 of Letran’s 23 points in the first period.
“The good thing about him is when he gets the chance, he steps up,” said Letran coach Caloy Garcia of Tambeling, who returned from a one-game suspension for two unsportsmanlike fouls against Mapua.
The Misamis Oriental-born guard was in the groove with 12 points in just eight minutes against the Cardinals before he was ejected.
“He (Tambeling) is a talented player, but he needs to be consistent,” said Garcia.
Perpetual Help leaned on another awesome shooting night from Juneric Baloria to slip past Jose Rizal U, 64-61, and stay within striking distance of Letran and San Beda.
Accounting for half of his team’s total output, Baloria hit 13 of 23 shots on his way to 32 points, boosting the Altas to their 10th win in 13 games.
The Knights refused to let up after halftime with Kevin Racal’s basket in the third period pushing Letran to its biggest lead at 51-25.
The loss sent the Chiefs to ninth spot with a 4-9 record. Not even a 15-point second-half effort from John Pinto could lift the Chiefs.
The Bombers took their fourth straight loss and fell to a three-team tie for fifth spot with St. Benilde and Emilio Aguinaldo College.
LETRAN 70—Tambeling 15, Cruz 12, Almazan 12, Nambatac 10, Racal 8, Castro 4, Gabawan 4, Belorio 3, Publico 2, Po 0, Luib 0, Elotu 0, Buenaflor 0.
ARELLANO 59—Pinto 17, Serjue 11, Caperal 11, Salcedo 6, Forrester 5, Nicholls 3, Hernandez 3, Jalalon 2, Agovida 1, Bangga 0, Margallo 0, Cadavis 0.
Quarters: 23-14, 39-23, 57-36 70-59
PERPETUAL HELP 64—Baloria 32, Arboleda 13, Omorogbe 10, Alano 5, Dizon 2, Elopre 2, Oliveria 0, Thompson 0, Ylagan 0, Jolangcob 0, Bantayan 0.
JRU 61—Mabulac 28, Paniamogan 11, Dela Paz 7, Juanico 5, Lasquety 4, Salaveria 4, Balagtas 2, Pontejos 0, Gozum 0, Sanchez 0.
Quarters: 19-12, 37-28, 48-46, 64-61