NCAA: Bonnie Tan braces for tougher battle ahead for defending champ Letran | Inquirer Sports

NCAA: Bonnie Tan braces for tougher battle ahead for defending champ Letran

/ 07:08 PM October 18, 2022
Letran coach Bonnie Tan NCAA

Letran Knights coach Bonnie Tan. NCAA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Letran coach Bonnie Tan expects the competition to stiffen up, leaving the Knights with little to no room for complacency in the second round of the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament.

As the defending champions, the Knights have a big target on their backs and Tan believes every team will be going all out as the elimination round winds down and the Final Four approaches.

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“We’re expecting that every team will come out fighting this second round. All teams who are chasing wins will play like there’s no tomorrow,” Tan said.

“That’s what we’re anticipating for every team, not just Perpetual. No team will take it easy now. It’s really time to go hard,” he added.

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Sunday’s doubleheader—where Mapua stunned Lyceum and Emilio Aguinaldo College upset No. 1 College of St. Benilde—was the perfect example of what Tan said.

“Those upsets, those wins, all of those can happen now. Even teams at the bottom can beat anyone as we saw in the previous games,” he said.

“It’s anybody’s game. The playing field is equal and teams have no import so hopefully, we’re able to sustain this winning run. The second round will be a battle for positioning in the standings.”

Facing a Perpetual Help team desperate for a win, Letran kept its guard up en route to a 74-59 win to improve to 7-3.

Brent Paraiso and Louie Sangalang starred for the Knights with Paraiso scoring a game-high 16 points and Sangalang posting a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Letran goes for a fourth straight win on Friday against Arellano, which beat the Knights, 72-69, last month.

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