NCAA: Letran rebounds, turns back Mapua | Inquirer Sports

NCAA: Letran rebounds, turns back Mapua

/ 04:49 PM August 14, 2015

Letran's Rey Nambatac tries to get a shot despite the towering defense of Mapua import Allwell Oraeme. TRISTAN TAMAYO/

Letran’s Rey Nambatac tries to get a shot in despite the towering defense of Mapua import Allwell Oraeme. TRISTAN TAMAYO/

Rey Nambatac steered Letran as the Knights bounced back with an 80-77 victory over Mapua in the NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament Friday at San Juan Arena.

Still licking their wounds from a surprise defeat at the hands of EAC, the Knights didn’t let another opportunity slip as the Muralla-based squad finished the first round at the top spot with an 8-1 card.


READ: NCAA shocker: EAC breaks Letran’s 7-game win streak


Nambatac soared in the win with 22 points, 14 coming in the fourth, on a 6-of-12 shooting on threes, alongside 10 rebounds, and five steals.

The third-year guard sizzled in the payoff period and helped Letran climb back from a seven-point deficit, 60-67, with 7:25 left to play.
With Mark Cruz giving the Knights an 80-75 lead with 1:57 remaining, the Cardinals made a late run with Stephen Que canning his freebies. However, he had a costly turnover when he was called for a travelling violation with 41.7 ticks left.

Nambatac, though, missed his charities on the other end with 8.4 seconds left, but Mapua was unable to force a game-tying shot as John Nieles threw the ball away in the ensuing possession as the game came to a close.

Cruz finished with 16 markers and six assists, as Jerrick Balanza got 11 points in the win.

“It’s like my first game again. The pressure was so high that I wasn’t able to sleep,” said Letran coach Aldin Ayo, who returned to the sidelines after serving his one game suspension. “Going to this game, I know this will make up for the loss that we had.”

Allwell Oraeme led Mapua (4-5) with a double-double of 23 points and 28 rebounds, to go with four blocks as he played the whole game, while Exequiel Biteng got 15 markers in the defeat. IDL


The Scores:

LETRAN 80 – Nambatac 22, Cruz 16, Balanza 11, Luib 10, Racal 9, Quinto 8, Apreku 2, Sollano 2, Calvo 0, Balagasay 0.

MAPUA 77 – Oraeme 23, Biteng 15, Que 13, Serrano 8, Nieles 7, Menina 6, Aguirre 3, Raflores 2, Stevens 0, Villasenor 0, Brana 0.

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Quarters: 25-21, 53-38, 60-59, 80-77.

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TAGS: Basketball, Letran Knights, Mapua Cardinals, NCAA

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