Knights, Blazers trip NCAA foes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
STA. CRUZ, Laguna—Letran flexed its defensive muscle in the second half to hammer out a scrambling 65-62 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College yesterday in the first NCAA road game at Laguna Sports Complex Gym here.
The Knights held the Generals scoreless for almost eight minutes bridging the third and fourth quarters to forge their second straight victory for an even 3-3 card.
With Kevin Alas holding the fort, Letran went on a 22-0 tear during the same stretch, giving the Knights enough cushion when the Generals mounted a run in the last five minutes.
Later, St. Benilde snapped a two-game slide by outlasting Arellano U, 80-73, in overtime.
The Blazers leaned on guards Carlo Lastimosa and Paolo Taha in the extra period to overcome the Chiefs, who were without coach Koy Banal as he joined the B-Meg Llamados in their PBA title duel with Rain or Shine.
“It was an ugly win,” said St. Benilde coach Richard del Rosario, whose squad remained at sixth spot with a 3-4 card. “The boys need this win for their confidence.”
Arellano guard Vergel Zulueta sent the game into overtime at 67-all with a triple with three seconds remaining, but the Blazers kept their poise behind Lastimosa and Taha who combined for eight of St. Benilde’s 13 points in the extra period.
Alas wound up with 22 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Jam Cortes, who has been playing extended minutes because of the continued absence of Raymond Almazan, chipped in 11 points and grabbed 12 boards.
Letran coach Louie Alas, though, was far from satisfied with the victory, saying that the same kind of game won’t cut it for the Knights even for a Final Four berth.
“We’re a veteran team, but we’re not playing like a mature team,” said Alas.
Jan Jamon missed two triples in the last 10 seconds, dooming the Generals to their fifth straight defeat for a 1-5 record.
LETRAN 65—Ke. Alas 23, Cortes 11, Belorio 10, Cruz 8, Racal 6, Kr. Alas 5, Gabawan 2, Luib 0, Almario 0, Lituania 0, Pantin 0.
EAC 62—Morada 21, Happi 17, Yaya 10, Chiong 4, Munsayac 3, Jamon 3, Monteclaro 2, Paguia 2, Tayongtong 0, Pillas 0.
Quarters: 14-10, 28-29, 49-45, 65-62
ST. BENILDE 80—Lastimosa 17, Taha 12, Tolentino 10, Romero 8, Garcia 8, Grey 6, Sinco 6, Tan 6, Maconcido 2, Ongtenco 2, Altamirano 2, Bartolo 1, Deles 0, Carlos 0.
ARELLANO 73—Hernandez 13, Acidre 13, Zulueta 11, Forrester 10, Pinto 9, Cadavis 6, Caperal 5, Bangga 4, Salcedo 2.
Quarters: 18-18, 32-27, 42-44, 67-67 (reg), 80-73