Knights crush Altas, charge to 5th victory | Inquirer Sports

Knights crush Altas, charge to 5th victory

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 04:18 AM July 24, 2015

LETRAN’S Jomari Sollano blocks a driving Kevin Oliveria of Perpetual Help in yesterday’s game at Filoil Flying V Arena. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

LETRAN’S Jomari Sollano blocks a driving Kevin Oliveria of Perpetual Help in yesterday’s game at Filoil Flying V Arena. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

The underdog billing is serving Letran in good stead. It has kept the Knights desperate, hungry and motivated in the early going of the 91st NCAA basketball tournament.

But the Knights could soon lose that tag after they brought down another powerhouse in the Perpetual Help Altas, 79-71,  Thursday to grab the solo lead with their fifth straight win at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.


The Knights remained the only unbeaten team after unleashing a second-half storm to wear down the Altas, who suffered their first loss in five games this season.


The loss sent the Altas to a share of second with San Beda, which turned back a gritty St. Benilde, 73-67, earlier.

Ola Adeogun poured season-highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds as the Lions roared to their second win in a row and fourth overall.

Just like defending champion San Beda and last year’s semifinalist Jose Rizal U, Perpetual was taken away from its comfort zone by an unforgiving Letran defense.

Carrying the momentum of their comeback win over the San Sebastian Stags last Tuesday, the Knights put together a strong team effort with six players scoring at least eight points.

Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac fired 15 points each but rookie center Jomari Sollano turned out to be the surprise package with 14 points as he held his own against Perpetual big men Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze.

Reigning MVP Scott Thompson tried to rally the Altas back into the game with 14 of his 22 points in the second half, but the Knights responded with aplomb to every threat.


“We’re in a good position but we haven’t achieved anything yet,” said Letran coach Aldin Ayo. “I want my players to play desperate basketball. We’re always the underdogs.”

The scores:

First Game

SAN BEDA 73—Adeogun 25, dela Cruz 10, Cabanag 9, Sara 6, Tankoua  6, Koga 5, Tongco 5, Reyes 3, Solera 2, Sedillo 2, Soberano 0, Mocon 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitorio 0.

ST. BENILDE 67—Grey 16, Saavedra 15, Domingo 8, Fajarito 8, Sta. Maria 7, Castor 7, Ongteco 4, San Juan 2, Jonson 0, Nayve 0, Young 0.

Quarters: 20-8, 41-28, 50-48, 73-67

Second Game

LETRAN 79—Nambatac 15, Cruz 15, Sollano 14, Racal 11, Luib 8, Quinto 8, Calvo 4, Apreku 2, Publico 2, Buenaflor 0.

PERPETUAL HELP 71—Thompson 22, Dagangon 12, Eze 10, Akhuetie 7, Ylagan 6, Coronel 5, Dizon 3, Oliveria 2, Elopre 2, Gallardo 1, Sadiwa 1, Tamayo 0, Pido 0, Cabiltes 0.

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Quarters: 16-17, 36-34,58-51, 79-71

TAGS: Altas, charge, Knights, Letran

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