Letran rips JRU to remain unbeaten
MANILA, Philippines – The motivated Letran Knights continued their roll in the early phase of NCAA Season 91’s elimination round by defusing the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 78-62, on Friday, July 3 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Newly-minted Letran head coach Aldin Ayo's relentless full court pressure was an unsolvable riddle for the Heavy Bombers as the Knights’ improve their perfect 2-0 record and tie with San Beda College and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta on top of the team standings.
Rey Nambatac notched 25 points and converted four of his eight beyond-the-arc shots to lead Letran against the heavily-favored JRU.
Aside from Nambatac, Kevin Racal also contributed to the victory of the blue-and-red school by adding 15 markers with three boards and two dimes.
On the other hand, pesky guard Mark Cruz was a reliable supplier of points for Letran as well, finishing with 12 points and hitting three of his nine attempts from downtown.
Despite the triumphant game versus JRU, it was not a walk in the park for the Ayo-mentored squad as the Kalentong-based troop made it a close contest in the first half.
Spearheaded by Cris Dela Paz and John Gorospe, JRU was able to cut the deficit to a single-digit and had Letran ahead only by four point, 44-40.
Nambatac weathered the storm by drilling a triple, while his teammates responded by chipping in 13 unanswered points to take a 61-40 advantage.
With the disappointing setback to Letran, JRU dropped their win-loss slate to 1-1. Paolo Pontejos and Abdul Wahab Abdul Razak were able to haul 11 points each for the Heavy Bombers.
Letran 78 - Nambatac 25, Racal 15, Cruz 12, Sollano 10, Quinto 6, Calvo 3, Luib 3, Apreku 2, Balanza 2, Balagasay 0.
JRU 62 - Pontejos 11, Abdul Wahab 11, Sanchez 10, Grospe 9, Dela Paz 8, Lasquety 6, Balagtas 4, Teodoro 3, Poutouochi 0, Aurin 0, Dela Virgen 0.
Quarter scores: 14-13, 40-36, 63-49, 78-62