Letran thwarts San Beda, forges winner-take-all game 3
Letran Knights beats San Beda Red Lions, 79-74, in Thursday’s game at the NCAA finals’ game 2. Video by Noy Morcoso III/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines — Letran thwarted San Beda, 79-74 , Thursday and forged a winner-take-all game three in the NCAA season 89 men’s basketball finals.
The Knights had plenty of help outside of Mark Cruz and Raymond Almazan this time around, with Ford Ruaya and Kevin Racal chipping in double-digits.
Ruaya and Racal, who each scored 12, teamed up with second stringers McJour Luib and Jamil Gabawan in a pivotal 8-0 run which gave Letran a 72-64 lead.
The Knights, fighting to forge a winner take all, held on even as the Red Lions made a last ditch effort, with just two minutes to play.
“The credit goes to the players. They really stepped up today, especially after in game one when they were tentative,” said head coach Caloy Garcia.
Cruz still led with 16 points, 10 in the fourth period then hardworking Almazan battled cramps to score 12 and pull down 10 rebounds.
But John Tambeling, McJour Luib and Rey Nambatac, who played a lackluster game one, combined for 20 points for the Knights.
San Beda won in that game, 80-68, last Monday.
The Red Lions leaned on Art Dela Cruz’s hot shooting throughout the game, with the forward unloading four triples to finish with 23 points.
Every time Letran threatened to pull away, Dela Cruz was there to knock down that needed trey but was silent in the last five minutes.
Ola Adeogun had 10 points but couldn’t penetrate the paint throughout. His biggest shot, in fact, was a triple off the inbound with 17.2 seconds left that trimmed the lead 74-77.
The deciding match is on Saturday also at the Mall of Asia Arena with the Red Lions seeking to stretch their reign to four years and the Knights shooting to bring back glory to their court.
Originally posted at 5:19 p.m. | November 14, 2013
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