DOMINATE. Bong Quinto scores 10 in the Knights' last 12 points of the game. Photo by Michael Estupigan
The Letran Knights completed their comeback as they knocked-out the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates in a controversial finish, 80-79, in the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Inspired by Jerrick Balanza’s surprise visit, Bong Quinto took matters into his own hands to help Letran become the second team in two seasons to take down the Pirates in the elimination round.
After being hobbled by fouls in the first three quarters, Quinto entered the game in the final frame with six minutes and 31 seconds remaining and immediately attacked the basket; completing an and-1 play against Mike Harry Nzeusseu to tie the game at 71.
After a Jesper Ayaay follow up that gave LPU the lead, 73-71, Quinto dished out an assist to Christian Fajarito to tie the game at 73-all with 4:52 left in the game. From there, Quinto scored Letran’s last seven points including a go-ahead basket with 1:53 ticks left to give Letran an 80-77 lead.
With the game already in Letran’s grasp, Jaycee Marcelino drained a big three-pointer to tie the game at 80-all with 40.8 seconds remaining.
Both teams were not able to score as the game was set to overtime. However, as the two teams compose themselves for the extra period, the game officials reviewed Marcelino’s shot and ruled it as a two-pointer as the latter was seen stepping on the line; giving Letran an 80-79 victory.
Despite the controversial call, Letran head coach Jeff Napa shrugged it off and gave credit to his veterans for staying composed in the crucial moments of the game.
“Credit sa mga players especially kay Bong even though foul trouble sya, cinompose niya [‘yung] sarili niya kasi pag dating sa dulo talaga kailangan namin sya kasi si Toto sobrang napagod e,” he said.
“’Di lang naman si Bong, good thing yung mga binubunot ko, Taladua, Batillier wala siya sa scoring, ‘yung mga little things na ginagawa nya eh,” he added.
Larry Muyang and JP Calvo kept the Knights alive while Quinto was riding the bench due to foul trouble with the former posting a double-double performance of 23 points and 16 rebounds while the latter gathered 16 points and six assists.
Quinto, who was responsible for Letran’s last 12 points, finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
For Lyceum, Mike Nzeussueu ended up with 25 points and 10 rebounds while CJ Perez, who was held scoreless in the second half, finished the game with 16 markers.
With this win, the Knights improved to 11-4, Letran’s next game is against the San Sebastian Golden Stags on Tuesday, October 9, at 2 p.m.
CSJL (80) – Muyang 23, Quinto 20, Calvo 18, Ambohot 6, Fajarito 4, Batiller 3, Galvelo 3, Celis 2, Taladua 1, Yu 0, Balagasay 0
LPU (79) – Nzeusseu 25, Perez 16, Marcelino JC 9, Pretta 8, Marcelino JV 7, Ayaay 5, Caduyac 4, Santos 3, Ibanez 2, Serrano 0, Valdez 0, Yong 0
Quarterscores: 18-21, 44-48, 64-68, 80-79