Letran forces game three vs San Beda in NCAA 88 finals


Letran defeats San Beda for the first time in five years to force game three. Photo by Jan Dizon /

MANILA, Philippines — Letran finally figured out how to defeat San Beda — and it came at the most opportune time.

The Knights conquered the defending champion Red Lions, 64-55, Saturday night for the first time in five years to forge a winner-take-all game three in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball finals.

Jonathan Belorio unleashed a trey from his sweet spot, allowing Letran to build a 60-52 cushion, which was enough to survive thee final three minutes.

Belorio was perfect from beyond the arch and finished with 15 points while four more Knights ended up with double-digit output.

“It’s all about teammwork, you can’t beat San Beda with just one to two players,” said head coach Louie Alas, who’s back in the sudden death after seven years.

The last time the Knights won over their fierce rivals was in the first round of 2007, and the last setback of the Red Lions in a finals series was in 2009.

Mark Cruz hit a big trey in the fourth quarter, and Kevin Alas — who just couldn’t get his rhythm going as a marked man — made a pivotal run on back-to-back and-ones.

Carlo Lituania also gave the Knights a big lift with 11 markers, most of it coming from the first half that allowed the Knights to take control early.

Letran, though, owes the victory to its defensive scheme on San Beda’s behemoth Ola Adeogun in the payoff period.

After scoring at will in the paint in the third, Adeogun could barely get to the rim let alone touch the ball, which paved way Letran to take over anew.

“We played his tendencies in the fourth quarter,” said Alas. “In the third, he was able to score where he wanted to.”

Letran fired blanks in the third and managed only four points, leaving the door ajar for San Beda to take the lead at the turn of the third quarter, 43-41.

Adeogun accounted for eight straight points in the third before Baser Amer nailed two freethrows, which put the Red Lions in the lead.

But the Red Lions, gunning for a second ‘three-peat,’ lost its offense in the payoff period though Amer tried to rally his squad back in the game.

Game three is on Thursday with the venue and time to be announced.

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  • Eric Teodoro Aldea Valdeavilla

    Tama na yan puro kayo dada….Letran will surely win Game 3…..another One for the books….Letran a school rich in Basketball tradition…..dugong bughaw….dugong arriba….dugong Tranista….sa mga Beho dont react ha….opinion ko lang na mananalo ang Letran….this will break the equalizer with the most number of Crowns….ARRIBA NA……

  • Eric Teodoro Aldea Valdeavilla

    Tama na yan puro kayo dada….Letran will surely win Game 3……another One for the books…..Letran a school rich in Basketball tradition….dugong bughaw ….dugong arriba….dugong Tranista

  • Rednaxela VD

    Why does Letran keep up with coach Alas?  Kitang kita naman walang kwenta puro dada lang.  He had another technical which almost cost the game like in Game 1.  Muntik na naman mahabol at matalo if not for the players.

    If not for his sons, dapat wala na yan sa Letran.  Pero bagay sila ng school, parehng walang kwenta

    • RiverHorse

      are you watching the games or are you as blind as the bejos??? LINULUTO NA ANG LARO kaya tinetechnical nila si alas… walang kwenta? you know what they say, “it takes a thief to spot a thief.” you’re a smart guy/gal/gay… you know what i mean.

  • RiverHorse

    tahamik yata mga beho ngayon? dahil ba nahuli yung panggugulang at pandaraya nila kasabwat mga refs??? and to add insult to injury, NATALO PA! hahahahahaha!!!

  • Pepe Alas

    I knew there’s gonna be a game 3. =)

  • Jack Cool

    imbestigahan yan mga refs. masyadong pabor ang tawag sa beda. nasa payroll ba yan na beda?

  • RiverHorse

    dinadaya na nanalo pa. akala siguro ng refs nde nahahalata ni alas yung mga ginagawa nila.

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