Letran thrashes Arellano, firms up its twice-to-beat edgeBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Letran leaned on a strong third quarter to thrash Arellano University, 76-58, and keep its bid for a twice-to-beat edge going in the NCAA Season 88 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Knights, who notched their sixth straight win, got their groove in the second half as they held the Chiefs to just 20 points combined in the last two quarters, including a six-point third period.
Kevin Alas topscored with 24 points while Kevin Racal added 15 points.
Meanwhile, Mapua repulsed College of St. Benilde, 80-66, to end its season on a winning note for an 8-10 mark.
Andretti Stevens scored a career-high 14 points on four-of-seven shooting from three to go along with six assists for the Cardinals.
Graduating players Mike Parala and Jonathan Banal shot 12 and seven points respectively.
Letran also did a good job in stopping Arellano’s key players Vergel Zulueta and John Pinto, who only had measly six and three points respectively.
It was a close first half with Letran, which ended the elimination round with a 12-6 record, leading by just, two, 40-38.
The Knights got themselves in a chance to snatch the second spot away from San Sebastian, which will have to win over league-leading and fierce rival San Beda to assure itself of the all-important no.2 slot.
A loss by the Stags will set them up in a virtual best-of-three with the Knights, with the first game a playoff for second place.
Banal finished the season with a perfect 21-of-21 shooting at the free throw line.