NCAA: Veterans step up as Letran ends St. Benilde's unbeaten start | Inquirer Sports

NCAA: Veterans step up as Letran ends St. Benilde’s unbeaten start

/ 03:41 PM September 23, 2022
Letran Knights' Louie Sangalang during an NCAA Season 98 game. –NCAA/GMA PHOTO

Letran Knights’ Louie Sangalang during an NCAA Season 98 game. –NCAA/GMA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Letran turned to its veterans Fran Yu and Louie Sangalang to deal St. Benilde its first season loss, 81-75, in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament at San Juan Arena on Friday.

With the Knights holding a four-point lead in the last seconds of the game, Sangalang swatted a Will Gozum floater and a steal off Migs Corteza to give the defending champions a bounce back win from their 72-69 loss to Arellano on Sunday.

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“Coming from a loss, I told my players we need a bounce back win. This is a good team to face because they are the last team without a loss,” Letran head coach Bonnie Tan said whose team improved to a 2-2 record.

The Knights held a comfortable nine-point lead in the 6:50 mark of the fourth quarter, 75-66, when the Blazers mounted a 9-2 run capped by a Gozum bucket inside to inch closer, 77-75, with 2:36 remaining.

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Letran’s primary playmaker Yu gave his team some breathing room by sinking a contested layup for a 79-75 edge.

Brent Paraiso finished with a game-high 25 markers for Letran. Yu played all-around with 12 markers, nine boards, six steals and six assists while Pao Javillonar and Kobe Monje had 10 to their names. Sangalang only had four points but snatched 10 rebounds.

St. Benilde, which absorbed its first loss for 3-1 card, relied on Gozum with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds. Corteza shot 7-for-10 from the field to scatter 17 points while Rob Nayve and Ladis Lepalam scored 10 each.

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