NCAA basketball

Arellano ends Letran’s 14-game NCAA win streak; San Sebastian escapes Mapua 

Martin Mendoza
Arellano ends Letran’s 14-game NCAA win streak; San Sebastian escapes Mapua 

STUNNER. Arellano’s Cade Flores celebrates the Chiefs upset win over the Knights.


The Arellano Chiefs ride on a huge fourth-quarter fightback as they hand the defending champion Letran Knights their first loss since 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Letran Knights saw their 14-game winning streak in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament come to an end as the Arellano Chiefs defeated them in a nail-biting affair, 72-69, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City on Sunday, September 18.

With the Knights on top by 9 points at the start of the final period, 56-47, the Chiefs turned things around and unleashed a massive 12-2 run at the start of the quarter to steal the lead from the defending champions, 59-58, with 6:20 left to play.

Arellano then extended its lead to as many as 9 points, 69-60, with only 2:30 remaining, before Letran countered with its own massive rally to pull within just 2, 69-71, in the final 17 seconds of the ball game.

Unfortunately for the Knights, their comeback attempt came up short as Kurt Reyson’s potential game-tying triple went in and out at the buzzer.

Big man Cade Flores showed the way for Arellano with 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Axel Doromal and Wilmar Oftana chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively.

On the other side, the monster double-double outings of Louie Sangalang (19 points and 16 rebounds) and King Caralipio (16 points and 13 boards) went down the drain as Letran suffered its first loss in the NCAA since November 2019.

Arellano, which captured its second straight win, moved up to 3-1, while Letran dropped to an even 1-1 slate.

Like the Chiefs, the San Sebastian Stags escaped with a thrilling 57-56 win over the Mapua Cardinals in the second game.

Leading by just a single point, 57-56, with 12.5 seconds left on the game clock, San Sebastian’s Kenneth Villapando committed a costly turnover off an inbound play, which led to an open three-ball attempt by Mapua’s Joaquin Garcia.

Luckily for Villapando and the rest of the Stags, Garcia’s three-pointer from the right wing failed to hit the mark as they hung on to the win and improved to 2-1 in the standings.

Romel Calahat was the lone player to score in double figures for San Sebastian with 17, to go along with his game-high 17 rebounds. 

Adrian Nocum led Mapua – which fell to 1-2 –  with 15 markers, while Arvin Gamboa added 12.

NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball action resumes on Tuesday, September 20, with the Blazers taking on the Perpetual Altas at 12 pm, followed by the clash between the Lyceum Pirates and the EAC Generals at 3 pm.

The Scores

First Game

Arellano 72 – Flores 18, Doromal 14, Oftana 13, Abastillas 10, Menina 7, Talampas 4, Mantua 2, Mallari 2, Sunga 2, Tolentino 0, Oliva 0.

Letran 69 – Sangalang 19, Caralipio 16, Paraiso 8, Yu 8, Javillonar 8, Santos 3, Guarino 3, Ariar 2, Reyson 2, Olivario 0, Tolentino 0, Monje 0, Miclat 0, Lantaya 0.

Quarters: 12-11, 30-34, 47-56, 72-69.

Second Game

San Sebastian 57 – Calahat 17, Sumoda 7, Villapando 7, Una 6, Desoyo 5, Shanoda 5, Escobido 4, Felebrico 3, Concha 3, Altamirano 0, Cosari 0, Suico 0, Aguilar 0, Are 0.

Mapua 56 – Nocum 15, Gamboa 12, Agustin 9, Garcia 6, Soriano 5, Salenga 4, Pido 3, Bonifacio 2, Cuenco 0, Hernandez 0, Mercado 0, Parinas 0.

Quarters: 19-15, 30-32, 42-46, 57-56.


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