Endgame run gives Letran payback vs Arellano
Letran hammered Arellano, 65-53, to nail its fifth straight victory in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament on Friday at Filoil EcoOil Arena in San Juan City.
King Caralipio came through with 13 points and 13 rebounds while Fran Yu added 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals for the defending champions, who notched an eighth win in 11 games to catch idle Lyceum at the No. 2 spot.
Caralipio said the Knights’ win was “huge”.
“It means our win run continues and momentum is there,” Caralipio said in Filipino. “That’s a big factor for our confidence going into the next game.”
Brent Paraiso engineered a game-sealing 10-0 run in the end, scoring six of his 10 points there. He also had five boards, three assists and three steals as the Knights avenged a 72-69 loss to the Chiefs in the first round.
“In the first round,mthey were the ones who beat us and ended out 14-game winning streak that we had since 2019. So the veterans in the team decided it was time for payback,” said Kurt Reyson, who had eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
“The standings, we do not really talk about it much as a team but this one we really wanted to win and bounce back in our loss in the first round against this team,” added coach Bonnie Tan.
Arellano was down by just two points 55-53, when Caralipio sank a contested layup to start a 10-0 rally, including two fast break buckets by Paraiso that knocked the wind out of the Chiefs’ sails.
The Knights were down by seven at the half when they dictated the pace on defense, holding down Arellano to just six points in the third period to take a 43-39 lead heading into the fourth.
Arellano’s Cade Flores had 15 points and 12 rebounds.