Close  

San Beda, Letran clash one last time for NCAA Season 95 crown

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 07:14 PM November 18, 2019
San Beda Letran NCAA Season 95 finals

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—The San Beda Red Lions thought they were just fortunate to stretch their NCAA Season 95 title encounter to its breaking point.

The defending champion Lions don’t want to rely on sheer luck this time in the grand finale of their titular series with the dangerous Letran Knights on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s really nice playing Letran. I really love to play against them,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez, whose Lions are looking for their fourth championship crown in a row. “Whoever wins tomorrow (Tuesday), truly deserves it.”

The Knights came close to sweeping the series in Game 2, if not for a cramp-stricken Fran Yu early in the fourth quarter when the Lions mounted a comeback from seven points down.

FEATURED STORIES

“We’re lucky, Fran Yu wasn’t there on the floor,” said Calvin Oftana, who delivered the decisive three-point play with 19.1 seconds remaining that allowed San Beda to force the decider. “Going into this game (Game 3), our desire to win will play a very important role.”

With Evan Nelle and James Canlas alternating on him, Yu was practically unstoppable—knocking down three step back threes in one stretch and banked a shot in the lane that gave the Knights control late in the third.

The Letran ace point guard capped his heroics with another three early in the fourth but was pulled out after suffering from leg cramps.

“We just moved forward from that defeat and focus our energies in Game 3,” said Letran head coach Bonnie Tan, looking for his first NCAA title while aiming to provide the Knights their second crown in five seasons.

Brawny center Larry Muyang, who kept Letran afloat after Yu didn’t show up anymore, will again provide an interesting faceoff with Donald Tankoua, San Beda’s Cameroonian center.

“It was unfortunate for me. I will come in more prepared this time,” said Yu, the tournament’s most improved player who led the Knights throughout the stepladder semifinals until the second game of the title series.

Attention will likewise be generated by the Knights’ graduating swingmen—team captain Jerrick Balanza and Bonbon Batiller—versus the versatile Canlas and the hot-shooting Clint Doliguez.

ADVERTISEMENT

We have to win this. Execute properly, make big plays and always play hard defense,” said the Filipino-Canadian Canlas.

For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Basketball, Calvin Oftana, Donald Tankoua, Evan Nelle, Finals, Fran Yu, Game 3, James Canlas, Jerrick Balanza, Larry Muyang, Letran Knights, NCAA Season 95, San Beda Red Lions
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.