Letran claims solo third place after beating JRUBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Letran moved in solo third place following a 70-59 win over Jose Rizal University Saturday night in the NCAA Season 88 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Knights chalked up their sixth win in seven games to improve to 10-6, half a game ahead of the Perpetual Help Altas.
Letran trailed by 10 and by nine, 39-48, at the 5:12 mark of the third period.
“[My players had] poise and patience whatever the situation was,” said Letran head coach Louie Alas.
The Knights also happened to have Kevin Alas and energy guys in Raymond Almazan and Jam Cortes down low.
Alas continued his tear with 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals.
Almazan on the other hand, was a force inside on both ends finishing with eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
The lanky six-foot-seven center, despite hobbled by foul trouble, keyed in a third quarter surge, where Letran finished the quarter with a 14-0 run.
Cortes finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
“We’re now one foot inside the final four. Sana manalo pa kami para sure na talaga kaming nasa final four,” said Alas, whose squad have the lightest last two games left before the semifinals start.
The Knights are left with lower-ranked teams in Emilio Aguinaldo College and Arellano University.
Byron Villarias had a game-high 20 points on four-of-seven shooting from deep.
But JRU got a horrible game from Nate Matute, who was passive in his 15 minutes of play, attempting just one from the field.
Meanwhile, The Generals beat the College of St. Benilde Blazers, 73-64, in the first game.
Franz Chiong shot 20 points on top of six rebounds and six assists.