NCAA: Letran finally gets first win in Season 99, Mapua routs Arellano
MANILA, Philippines—After seven unsuccessful tries, defending champion Letran finally notched its first win in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament after defeating San Sebastian, 86-71, at San Juan Arena on Wednesday.
To add more splendor to the Knights’ latest conquest, they defeated the Golden Stags without their star guard Kurt Reyson, who’s currently nursing a groin injury.
“Without Kurt, we actually saw the real games of the other players here. They showed that they are winners too, that even without our captain ball, they showed up and stuck with the challenge,” said coach Rensy Bajar in Filipino.
Reyson suffered the injury during Letran’s loss to Perpetual Help a few days ago. He’s questionable to play in the Knights’ upcoming Finals rematch against College of St. Benilde on Sunday.
Deo Cuajao led the the Knights with 14 points, five rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block to give Letran a 1-7 card. Neil Guarino and Kobe Monje also helped the cause with 13 markers each.
Rafael Are’s game-high 20 points were all for naught as the Golden Stags crashed to a 3-5 record. Romel Calahat had a double-double with 14 markers and 11 boards but to no avail.
WATCH: Neil Guarino after helping the Knights get their first win of the season against the Golden Stags.He finished with 13 points. #NCAASeason99 | via Melo Fuertes/Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, October 18, 2023
MAPUA STAYS RED HOT
League leader Mapua, meanwhile, made it five straight wins at the expense of Arellano, 79-65.
Warren Bonifacio rallied the Cardinals with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds while JC Recto and Kobe Dalisay stepped up on offense with 12 points apiece to remain as the league’s top seed at 7-1.
Lars Sunga had 16 markers and seven boards in a losing effort as Danielle Mallari scored five in a loss that put the Chiefs at 1-7.