NCAA: Letran turns up defense in crucial win over Benilde
MANILA, Philippines—Using a stifling defense, Letran unseated College of St. Benilde at the helm and pushed its winning run to eight games on Saturday.
Letran coach Bonnie Tan said the defense made all the difference in their crucial victory as the Knights were able to clamp down on the Blazers’ main guys.
Tan challenged his big men Louie Sangalang and Pao Javillonar in limiting St. Benilde star Will Gozum and his wards delivered.
“Will (Gozum) is playing his best season and he’s running for MVP. My challenge for my bigs is to work together. I challenged Louie and Pao, asking them if two can win against one key player,” said Tan after Letran’s 74-66 win at San Juan Arena.
Will Gozum notched another double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds but the MVP frontrunner shot only 37.5 percent from the field, making only six of his 16 attempts.
Sangalang, on the other hand, outdueled Gozum as he finished with 21 points on an efficient 64.3 percent clip, nine rebounds and three blocks.
Tan was also wary of CSB sniper Migs Oczon and it was Letran guard Fran Yu’s turn to step up to the plate on the defensive end.
“Oczon is the second top-scorer so we really made it hard for them. I know they can score but we have to make it difficult for them,” he said.
Yu made sure to answer the call as he held Oczon to only four points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field.
“Coach told us that whoever is the leading scorer, we had to lock him down. Will was also in foul trouble so our game plan worked,” said Yu, who recorded five points and 10 assists.
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