NCAA basketball

Letran wrests top spot from Benilde, streaks to 8th straight win
Letran wrests top spot from Benilde, streaks to 8th straight win

ON TOP. Louie Sangalang and the Letran Knights continue to rise.


The Letran Knights put the league on notice again as the streaking defending champions climb to the top spot after an erratic start to the season

MANILA, Philippines – Louie Sangalang delivered the numbers as the Letran Knights rallied over the St. Benilde Blazers, 74-66, to stretch their winning streak to eight and wrest the top spot in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Saturday, November 5 at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Sangalang posted 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks as Kurt Reyson also came through with clutch baskets to finish with 14 points off the bench, to go along with 5 rebounds and 2 assists.

With the crucial win, the defending champion Letran grabbed the No. 1 spot with an 11-3 record while pushing Benilde down to second at 9-3.

Reyson scored on a layup to put the Knights within one, 62-63. Another pivotal Reyson three-pointer following an intense scramble and a Sangalang three-point play then gave Letran a 68-63 advantage with 28.7 seconds left.

Reyson’s free throws later sealed the victory for the Knights.

“We stuck to the team plan made by our coaches, that keyed our win, but we also need to work on our lapses,” Reyson said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Miguel Corteza produced 14 points while MVP candidate Will Gozum had 12 points for the Blazers.

In the other game, Lyceum recovered from back-to-back losses with a nail-biting 86–82 triumph over Perpetual Help.

John Barba carried Lyceum with  20 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals as the fourth-running Pirates improved to 8-5. 

Perpetual had a chance to forge overtime, 85-82, but a potential game-tying triple by Jelo Razon went in and out.

A Barba free throw off a Mark Omega foul with 12.9 seconds left sealed the win for the Pirates.

Art Roque and Carlo Ferreras led the way for Perpetual with 16 points apiece as the Altas fell to 5-8.

The Scores

First Game

Lyceum 86 — Barba 20, Navarro 14, Guadana 14, Penafiel 8, Bravo 7, Valdez 6, Umali 6, Montano 6, Larupay 5, Cunanan 0.

Perpetual 82 – Ferreras 16, Roque 16, Razon 13, Egan 11, Omega 8, Flores 8, Abis 4, Nitura 4, Barcuma 2, Martel 0, Pagaran 0, Boral 0, Cuevas 0.

Quarters: 26-18, 47-40, 68-67, 86-82.

Second Game

Letran 74 – Sangalang 21, Reyson 14, Go 9, Javillonar 8, Paraiso 7, Yu 5, Caralipio 4, Monje 2, Tolentino 2, Olivario 2, Santos 0.

Benilde 66 – Corteza 14, Gozum 12, Pasturan 11, Cullar 10, Nayve 8, Oczon 4, Lepalam 3, Carlos 2, Sangco 2, Marcos 0, Dimayuga 0, Flores 0, Sumabat 0.

Quarters: 20-19, 41-36, 50-51, 74-66.

Ivy Ferrer/

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