Letran hunts down San Beda in NCAA rivalry match
Let the rivalry continue.
As the NCAA’s most-heated matchup made its way to the 91st season, it was Colegio de San Juan de Letran that took the victory over San Beda, 93-80, Thursday at San Juan Arena.
Behind a raucous crowd, the Knights held off a comeback-seeking Red Lions even as it squandered a 21-point, 67-46, lead in the 1:44 mark of the third.
Letran’s dominating game took a dip when its diminutive talisman Mark Cruz went down with leg cramps with 3:11 left in the game but John Calvo came off the bench to fill-in whatever role he could do.
Calvo found himself open in the right wing as he drained a triple that put the Knights 79-70 with 2:48 left in the game.
Knights head coach Aldin Ayo said their game against San Beda was “by far the most difficult in terms of preparation.”
“During our 10 days of rest, I probably watched San Beda’s games six times,” Ayo said after taking a 3-0 record to tie University of Perpetual Help atop the standings. “After all that, I still did not know what to do.”
“My last decision was to stick to our game plan, stick to our strengths. Pressure defense and execute on offense.”
Ryusei Koga cut the Letran lead to five, 81-76, with a triple with 1:31 remaining but Mcjour Luib worked his magic, first with two free throws and an assist to a cutting Kevin Racal to give the Knights an 87-78 lead with 1:03 remaining.
Racal led Letran with 20 points and eight rebounds while Cruz added 16 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.
Ola Adeogun led the 2-1 Red Lions with 20 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. TVJ
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