NCAA: Letran keeps pesky EAC winless to close out first round
MANILA, Philippines—Letran ended its first round of the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament on a high note after squeaking past Emilio Aguinaldo College, 72-68, at San Juan Arena on Wednesday.
Despite holding a comfortable 13-point lead in the latter part of the second quarter, the Knights had to duke it out in the fourth against the Generals, who are still winless in eight games.
“EAC gave us a good game and they made it hard for us to get a tough win. This is our last game in the first round and I can say we closed it out properly,” coach Bonnie Tan said.
Letran, which moved up to 6-3, led by 13 heading into the end of the first half, 43-30, when EAC went on a 15-2 blitz in the third quarter to tie the game at 45-all.
Letran coach Bonnie Tan and Kurt Reyson after close win against EAC in the #NCAASeason98. | Rommel Fuertes/Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, October 11, 2022
It became a nip-and-tuck affair until the dying seconds of the game with the Knights holding a precarious 70-68 lead.
Fran Yu tried to nail the dagger with a midrange stab but missed, giving the Generals 11.3 seconds to either tie or win the bout.
But JP Maguliano turned the ball over with 4.1 seconds remaining before EAC gave up a foul on Kurt Reyson, who iced the game for Letran with two free throws.
King Caralipio led the team in scoring with 16 points while Brent Paraiso flirted with a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds for Letran. Reyson added 13 points.
Allen Liwag finished with a game-high 20 markers and seven boards in a losing effort for the Generals. Adam Doria and Mac Balowa contributed 16 and 15, respectively, as well.
LETRAN 72 — Caralipio 16, Paraiso 15, Reyson 13, Yu 7, Monje 6, Javillonar 5, Santos 4, Sangalang 2, Olivario 2, Go 2, Bautista 0, Guarino 0.
EAC 68 — Liwag 20, Ad. Doria 16, Balowa 15, Bajon 6, Maguliano 6, Cosejo 4, Angeles 1, Luciano 0, Quinal 0, An. Doria 0, Umpad 0, Bacud 0, Dominguez 0.
Quarters: 28-18, 43-37, 58-54, 72-68.