NCAA basketball

Abando sizzles for NCAA career-high as Letran trumps Perpetual

Delfin Dioquino
Abando sizzles for NCAA career-high as Letran trumps Perpetual

STAR PLAYER. Rhenz Abando powers Letran to a three-game winning streak to start NCAA Season 97.

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Rhenz Abando and defending champion Letran remain unbeaten and raise their record to a perfect 3-0

MANILA, Philippines – Rhenz Abando delivered another scintillating performance as Letran stayed unscathed in NCAA Season 97 with a 68-57 win over Perpetual at the La Salle Green Hills gym on Sunday, April 3.

Abando netted a new NCAA career-high 24 points on top of 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals as the defending champion Knights raised their record to a perfect 3-0.

The only player to breach the 20-point plateau, Abando poured in 10 points in their 26-point explosion in the third quarter that built Letran a comfortable 54-36 cushion going into the final period.

Although the Altas outscored the Knights 21-14 in the last quarter, their late resurgence was not enough to erase their massive deficit.

Louie Sangalang and Allen Mina churned out 10 points apiece in the win, while Letran big men Christian Fajarito and Jeo Ambohot pulled down 11 rebounds each and combined for 9 points.

Veteran guard Fran Yu finished with only 2 points for the Knights after going 1-of-7 from the field, but made up for shooting woes by tallying 4 assists and 2 steals.

Perpetual, which dropped to 1-2, relied on Jeff Egan and Kim Aurin, who chalked up 15 and 12 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, San Beda seized a share of the lead with Letran as it also remained undefeated in three games following a convincing 67-53 victory over Jose Rizal University.

James Kwekuteye starred for the Red Lions with an all-around outing of 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals in 30 minutes of play.

San Beda also drew solid performances from Ralph Penuela, who had 11 points, and JB Bahio, who put up 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Toni Ynot and Damie Cuntapay contributed 8 points apiece and connived for 14 rebounds in the win.

While the Red Lions kept their flawless record intact, the Bombers crashed to their third straight loss in as many games and fell into a tie with the Lyceum Pirates at last place.

Marwin Dionisio wound up as the only JRU player in double figures with 10 points and 8 rebounds.

The Scores

First Game

Letran 68 – Abando 24, Sangalang 10, Mina 10, Caralipio 6, Fajarito 5, Ambohot 4, Paraiso 4, Yu 2, Olivario 2, Reyson 1, Guarino 0, Tolentino 0, Javillonar 0.

Perpetual 57 – Egan 15, Aurin 12, Omega 8, Nunez 6, Barcuma 5, Abis 4, Ferreras 4, Sevilla 2, Boral 1, Razon 0, Martel 0, Cuevas 0, Pagaran 0.

Quarters: 13-10, 28-23, 54-36, 68-57.

Second Game

San Beda 67 – Kwekuteye 17, Penuela 11, Bahio 8, Cuntapay 8, Ynot 8, Amsali 5, Alfaro 4, Andrada 8, Abuda 2, Cometa 0, Gallego 0.

JRU 53 – Dionisio 10, Delos Santos 9, Gonzales 8, Bongay 7, Celis 6, Macatangay 4, Agbong 3, Jungco 2, Arenal 2, Gonzales 2, Aguilar 0, Aguado 0, Guiab 0.

Quarters: 13-16, 32-27, 47-44, 67-53.


Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.