Experienced Letran excited for Benilde challenge in NCAA Finals

Letran Knights NCAA Season 98

Letran Knights. NCAA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Letran coach Bonnie Tan on Tuesday quickly acknowledged College of St. Benilde coach Charles Tiu’s comments about wanting to face the Knights in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball Finals.

With high regard for the Blazers, Tan said Tiu “has the right” to desire for a title showdown with the Knights while also expressing his excitement ahead of their best-of-three duel which begins on Sunday at Araneta Coliseum.

“He has the right to say that. At least we’re here now. We’re excited to face them in the Finals because this is their first time after a long absence,” said Tan after guiding Letran to a 67-58 win over Lyceum in the Final Four on Tuesday.

“Hopefully, we can give them a good fight,” he added.

Letran, which is gunning for a third straight crown, swept Benilde in the elimination round including a 74-66 win in the second round last November 5.

The Blazers, earlier, booked their first finals berth in 20 years after knocking off the San Beda Red Lions, 62-61.

Tan said the Knights’ biggest advantage against the Blazers will be their experience after clinching their third consecutive finals berth.

Still, Tan knows Letran has no room for complacency with finals first-timer Benilde the top-seeded team for a reason.

“One of our advantages is the experience in the finals and how to close out games. That’ll remain the same, but they’re still the number one team so hopefully, our veterans are challenged.”


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