MANILA, Philippines – Letran strengthened its case for the No. 3 spot as the Knights overwhelmed the San Sebastian Stags, 99-82 in NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball on Friday, September 20 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
In the highly physical match, the Knights relied on their lengthy frontline in a second-half outburst to bounce back from their double-overtime loss last Friday against Mapua.
Larry Muyang proved to be force underneath to finish with 15 points and 7 rebounds for the Knights, who improved to 8-4 while halting the Stags’ five-game winning streak.
Edison Batiller scored 11 of his 15 points in the 1st quarter, while Fran Yu and Jerrick Balanza added 12 points apiece for the Knights.
Jeo Ambohot also tallied 11 markers and 7 boards for Letran.
The Stags neutralized Batiller’s hot start and stayed within striking distance in the opening quarter before Balanza capped the first 10 minutes with a layup for a 25-23 lead.
A huge 12-1 blitz gave the Stags an eight-point advantage, 47-39 midway through the 2nd frame, but the Knights responded with their own 10-2 run to cut the deficit to just one, 49-48 at the end of the first half.
The Knights limited the Stags’ second-chance points and sustained their fiery offense as they staged a 9-1 rally to create a seven-point separation, 57-50 early in the 3rd quarter.
After being hounded by double teams the entire game, Balanza finally found a crack on the Stags’ defense and sparked a huge 14-2 run as Letran started to pull away in the final canto.
Allyn Bulanadi scored 20 points while Alvin Capobres added 16 points and 8 boards for San Sebastian, which dropped to 7-4.
Marcelinos, Lyceum outlast St Benilde
Earlier, the Lyceum Pirates banked on their flashy twins to survive the St Benilde Blazers’ gutsy stand for an 85-83 victory.
Jaycee Marcelino showed up at both ends to drop 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals while his twin Jayvee had an all-around game of 6 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and a pair of steals.
Mike Nzeusseu chipped in 14 points and 10 boards for the No. 2 Lyceum squad, which created enough cushion to withstand the Blazers’ late rally.
Niño Ibañez and Jayson David also made an impact for the Pirates with 11 and 9 points, respectively.
The foul-laden first half ended with Carlo Young’s triple that gave Benilde a slim 41-39 advantage, but unfortunately, the Blazers lost Chris Flores midway through the 2nd quarter with an apparent knee injury.
The Blazers still had it in control in the 3rd frame before Ibañez sparked a 7-0 run to take the momentum to the Pirates’ side.
Justine Gutang scored back-to-back baskets at the start of the 4th period to snatch back the lead, 70-69, but the Marcelino twins displayed a defensive clinic at crunch time and carried Lyceum to its ninth win.
Unique Naboa and Kendrix Belgica had 15 and 12 markers each, while Gutang’s triple-double of 12 points, 10 boards and 10 assists got wasted as the Blazers slumped to a third straight loss for a 6-5 card.
Mapua survives EAC’s late surge
The Mapua Cardinals also survived the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals’ late run, 79-76, to pick up back-to-back wins.
Noah Lugo led with 16 points and 4 rebounds, while Laurenz Victoria had 11 markers, 6 boards and 3 assists as Mapua started to knock on the top teams’ door with a 5-6 record.
The Cardinals went off to a frantic start with an 8-0 run, but the Generals answered back with their own 10-2 rally and closed the 1st quarter with a 20-17 lead.
Jethro Mendoza continued to hit buckets in the 2nd quarter for the EAC squad as CJ Cadua drilled a triple and a one-legged fadeaway to push their lead to 10, 39-29.
Warren Bonifacio, who posted a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, came alive in the 3rd as Mapua used an 11-3 blitz to slowly regain the lead, 58-56.
EAC recovered and tied the game at 62 in the final quarter, but top guards Victoria and Lugo took over in the final quarter and unleashed a scoring spree that gave them a commanding 11-point advantage.
Marwin Taywan, on the other hand, took charge as the Generals quickly fired 8 unanswered points, all from scrappy plays late in the 4th.
Victoria, however, went down due to an ankle injury with less than a minute left in the clock.
Despite the late resurgence, EAC couldn’t convert a potential game winning basket while Lugo sealed the win of Mapua with a freebie.
Jp Maguliano and Taywan led the scoring with 15 and 13 points, respectively for the Generals, who remained at the bottom of the standings with a 1-11 card.
Mapua 79 – Lugo 16, Bonifacio 13, Victoria 11, Gonzales 9, Gamboa 7, Bunag 6, Serrano 5, Nieles 4, Nocum 4, Aguirre 2, Salenga 2, Garcia 0.
EAC 76 – Maguliano 15, Taywan 13, De Guzman 12, Mendoza 10, Dayrit 8, Cadua 7, Gurtiza 4, Luciano 3, Estacio 2, Martin 2, Gonzales 0.
Quarters: 17-20, 35-43, 58-56, 79-76.
Lyceum 85 – Marcelino Jc 22, Nzeusseu 14, Ibañez 11, David 9, Marcelino Jv 6, Tansingco 6, Caduyac 5, Navarro 5, Santos 5, Yorg 2, Guinto 0, Valdez 0.
Benilde 8 – Naboa 15, Belgica 12, Guntang 12, Nayve 10, Carlos 9, Young 9, Flores 4, Haruna 4, Dixon 3, Leutcheu 3, Lim 2, Lepalam 0.
Quarters: 16-14, 39-41, 69-66, 85-83.
Letran 99 – Batiller 15, Muyang 15, Balanza 12, Yu 12, Ambohot 11, Caralipio 8, Mina 7, Ular 7, Olivario 4, Sangalang 4, Balagasay 2, Javillonar 2, Guarino 0, Pambid 0, Teyson 0.
San Sebastian 82 – Bulanadi 20, Capobres 16, Calahat 10, Calma 10, Ilagan 8, Desoyo 6, Sumoda 5, Isidro 4, Tero 3, Altamirano 0, Cosari 0, Loristo 0, Suico0, Villapando 0.
Quarters: 27-23, 48-49, 70-65, 99-82.
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