NCAA: Final 4-bound Letran stops Perpetual
MANILA, Philippines–Rugged forward Ato Ular showed up in his usual lethal self by controlling the boards to help the Letran Knights defeat the Perpetual Altas, 88-69, Friday in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament.
Ular had 17 points and 16 rebounds, nine of them on the offensive end, in an assertive performance that the Knights missed in their past two encounters.
“I told him that I will not use him anymore. He probably got scared and played his usual game,’’ said Letran coach Boni Tan in Filipino after the Knights notched their 11th win in 17 games, a record that already merited a semifinal spot.
The Knights were actually in control right from the get-go with Jerrick Balanza, Fran Yu and Edson Batiller taking turns at attacking the rim.
Even seldom-used center Christian Balagasay contributed heavily to neutralize Perpetual’s Ben Adamos and forced the Altas to unleash more shots from afar instead of driving it hard in the paint.
“We want to be in peak form in time for the semifinals. I really went all-out in this game,’’ said Ular, who happily surpassed Tan’s target of 15 rebounds every game.
Already out of contention with an identical 4-11 record with the Arellano Chiefs, the Altas leaned on Edgar Charcos and Jielo Razon who scored 15 points apiece.
LETRAN 88—Balanza 18, Balagasay 18, Ular 17, Yu 14, Batiller 6, Caralipio 6, Ambohot 3, Mina 3, Reyson 2, Muyang 1, Pambid 0, Guarino 0, Javillonar 0, Sangalang 0.
PERPETUAL 69—Charcos 15, Razon 15, Peralta 13, Aurin 11, Adamos 10, Giussani 5, Barasi 0, Tamayo 0, Martel 0, Cuevas 0, Lanoy 0, Sevilla 0, Lucero 0.
Quarters: 22-16, 50-30, 68-53, 88-69.