Recap: Best plays and top gunners of the first round

By: Alyssa Aquino
September 10, 2019
1835

Photo by Angelou Diño/ The LANCE.

A new season has begun.

With key contributors gone, a new crop of Knights charge bravely into NCAA Season 95.

Now that the first round is in the books, let's take a look at what went down during the Knights’ campaign.

The Letran Knights endured a dismaying loss in the season opener against the Lyceum of the Philippines Pirates, 80-84, as Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino exploded with a combined 42 points.

Jeo Ambohot was able to bring the score to 77-all after splitting his shots from the stripe. Looking to close out the game, Jaycee Marcelino drove hard to the basket, picking up Larry Muyang’s fifth foul and converting an and-one play to hand his side an 80-77 advantage.

Bonbon Batiller drained a three-pointer to bring Letran within two, 80-82, but a costly turnover from Jerrick Balanza sealed the deal for the Pirates.

New Letran head coach Bonnie Tan, was obviously not pleased with what he saw.

“We had some costly errors in the end-game, we had a lot of missed free throws, medyo masama yun, ‘di ko alam kung opening jitters,” said a dejected Tan after the match.

“Hindi ako happy. We’ve been practicing that, yung mga errors naming kanina, unforced e, simple errors e. Yun ang pinapractice namin all offseason,” he explained.

It was a bittersweet return for the 44-year old mentor after a five-year hiatus from the coaching scene.

Co-incidentally, Tan made his return against the Pirates - a team which he handled for 11 years before concentrating on managerial duties at GlobalPort.

“Ngayon it’s a different story, gusto ko naman siyempre manalo. Medyo fail yung resulta sa first game. Marami pa namang games, hopefully makarecover kami,” he said.

KEY GAMES

Balanza propelled the Letran Knights past the Arellano University Chiefs, 81-72, to pick up their first win of the season. Balanza notched his career-high in points, firing 31 markers, to go along with three rebounds.

Letran went on to cruise towards its second consecutive victory after beating the JRU Heavy Bombers, 55-43.

Heading into the fourth, Paolo Javillonar drained six points to extinguish JRU’s hot streak followed by a three courtesy of Fran Yu as they regained momentum and extended their lead to 13, 50-37. The Knights never looked back as they held on to claim the win.

From there, Letran Knights clinched their third straight win in a thrilling overtime fashion against the Perpetual Altas, 82-80. It was a tight battle that saw seven lead changes.

Jielo Razon tried to send the game into a double-overtime with a jumper from the right-wing but missed. Ambohot secured the rebound, sealing the Altas' fate.

The Letran Knights held on despite a late push from the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, bagging their fourth straight win. Ular was able to block a lay-up from Renz Gonzales within the last 12 seconds of the game, followed by two bricked shots from Batiller, safeguarding the Knights' victory against the Generals, 91-89.

The streaking Knights then went on to deny the Mapua Cardinals their first win, 89-84. A shot clock beating trey from Batiller and a block from Ular preserved the win for the Knights.

HEARTBREAKS

In front of a huge Letran contingent in the gallery, the Knights suffered a heartbreaking loss to arch-rivals San Beda Red Lions, 66-70.

The Knights were given a chance after a door was left open for them with San Beda’s Evan Nelle missing three of four from the stripe in the endgame and Balanza hitting a booming triple, pulling them within four with 11.7 seconds left.

After another defensive stop, Balanza had another try from deep, which missed the mark, and ended Letran’s winning run.

Muyang’s career game then went to waste as Letran faltered in overtime against San Sebastian, 101-102.

“We took it as positive pa din, talo ngayon, pero hopefully 'yung tapang at courage na pinakita natin sa game na to ay laruin sa lahat ng games,” said Tan.

Late in OT, Knights charged ahead, 99-98, but the Stags took the lead again after Alvin Capobres and Ken Villapando hit two-of-four from the line.

Letran still had 18.5 seconds to win the game but Fran Yu missed a three that sealed the Knights’ second straight loss and third overall in eight games.

BEST PLAY

After two heart-aching defeats, Letran Knights arrested a two-game losing skid after flat-out dominating the College of St. Benilde Blazers, 88-64.

Balanza celebrated his birthday by showing the way for Letran in the wire-to-wire win with 26 points.

The Knights entered halftime with only a one-point lead, 21-20, before a big 27-point in the third quarter boosted them ahead, 73-49.

Balanza and Ambohot extended the Knights’ lead to as much as 28, 82-54, after unloading back-to-back threes with only eight minutes left.

From there, Letran cruised to a share of third in the standings with a 6-3 record.

Coach Bonnie Tan also expressed rapture after ending the first round on a high.

“We have a lot of close games, pero ito talaga hinahanap namin na laro. We know it’s not a perfect game, pero it’s a good win compared to other games. Magandang ending, sa first round,” said Tan.

“Sana icontinue nila yung ganitong klaseng laro, and hopefully ‘yung pick-up namin sa second round wag nila ibreak, tuloy-tuloy lang,” he added.

TOP GUNNERS

Jerrick Balanza

After successfully recovering from a brain tumor, Jerrick Balanza is all set to make the most of his last playing year with the Letran Knights.

The six-foot-two shooting guard is currently averaging 17.4 points, 3.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds after missing all of the second round and the playoffs last season.

Balanza was eager to get back in shape and immediately started conditioning his body right after his recovery. He admits being hard on himself to keep up with his teammates.

"January ako nagsimula magensayo pagbigay sakin ng go signal. Sa una dahan-dahan lang, sumunod na lingo ‘yon bugbugan na 2-3 practice everyday na. Ganon ginawa ko kasi talagang pinahirapan ko sarili ko kasi diba mahaba hahabulin ko, mga teammate ko condition na," he said.

In a game against JRU, Balanza notched his career-high in points, firing 31 markers, to go along with three rebounds, and two assists to help the Knights barge into the win column with a 1-1 win-loss slate.

"Sa sarili ko wala na akong expectation, every game all out lang ako lagi ‘yon talaga," said Balanza.

"I treat my game as my last game, lagi talaga," he added.

Ato Ular

Letran’s new double-double machine Ato Ular is starting to make a name of his own. The 6’4 Tarlac pride averages 10.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, shooting 60% from the field.

Ular had a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds in the thrilling overtime game against Perpetual Altas.

He also admitted that Tan really pushed him to break out of his shell.

“Kung anong papatrabaho ni coach gagawin ko talaga. Kung anong sasabihin niya gagawin ko basta manalo lang kami,” said Ular.

 

Comments

  1. Letran Bounces Back, Deals CSB First Loss of NCAA 98
  2. We Remember
  3. Greta on the Marcos Administration: No Climate Justice under it
  4. Marcos Jr. Attends 77th UNGA, Rallies for ‘Unity’
  5. DepEd Clarifies Zero-Budget for SPED, 150M Confidential Fund
  6. Navarro Surrenders to NBI After Issuance of Arrest Warrant
  7. Letran Suffers their First Loss Against the Arellano Chiefs, 69-72
  8. House Panel Approves OVP’s PHP 2.292 Billion Budget within Minutes
  9. Court Dismisses Esperon’s Overturn Appeal vs Bulatlat
  10. Reyson Dedicates Career Game for Fr. Raffy
  11. Kurt Reyson stars in Letran’s Grit and Grind OT win against JRU
  12. READY FOR BATTLE: Knights Set to face Heavy Bombers to Begin their Three-peat Bid
  13. Abante Seeks to Scrap PCGG
  14. COVID-19 Benefits for Healthcare Workers still Pending, Unfunded
  15. Grit and Glory: Alex Eala becomes First Filipino to Win Singles Grand Slam
  16. Athletes Vow to Achieve Greatness as NCAA Season 98 Officially Begins
  17. British Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96, UK Hails a New Monarch
  18. Letran Community Bolsters up the Pep Rally 2022: Knight and Proud
  19. Remembering the “Living Saint”
  20. The Blessed Smile
  21. 2022 PH Debt Balloons to PHP 12.89 Trillion
  22. Cultural Center of the Philippines to Temporarily Shut its Doors in 2023
  23. Gov’t Prepares for a Special National Vaccination Week
  24. ABS-CBN, TV5 ‘Mutually’ Discontinues Network Investment
  25. Philippine Mass Media Marks First National Press Freedom Day
  26. PH Observes Annual National Heroes’ Day, President Marcos Jr., VP Sara Addresses the Public
  27. Jordan Clarkson Glorious in Home Debut as Gilas Destroys KSA
  28. Remembering GomBurZa
  29. Dolomite Beach: One of Manila Bay's Many Ecological Threats
  30. DBM proposes ‘Proactive and Resilient’ 2023 Nat’l Budget seeking P5.268-T
  31. Ready to face the Lord
  32. Increasing Abductions, Rape-Slay Cases Alarm PH Women for their Safety
  33. Fourth Monkeypox Case Detected in the PH
  34. Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna and Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto Visits Schools in Manila for Inspection
  35. Educational Assistance Rollout causes Chaos Outside DSWD Main Office
  36. Knights Get Caught in La Salle’s Storm, Exits FilOil Cup
  37. Poverty-stricken Students to Obtain Cash Assistance from DSWD
  38. Philippine Poverty Rate Increases to 18.1%
  39. Letran Bows to SSCR, still In Dangerous Position in Preseason Cup
  40. Honey Lacuna initiates PinasLakas Campaign
  41. COA: Donations for Typhoon Ulysses Victims found Rotten and Undistributed
  42. Philippines, Vulnerable to Rising Global Temperatures
  43. Knights bite the dust, succumbs to San Beda
  44. Filipino authors, books withstand Red-Tagging remarks VS KWF
  45. Sen. Hontiveros seeks to plumb the P7B "questionable releases" of CHED's UniFAST
  46. Letran celebrates Hybrid Binyag Arriba for Senior High School
  47. COA Reports on the Overpriced 39,583 Laptops Units DepEd Procured
  48. Senate Steps in, Files Resolution to solve Gilas Woes
  49. Students and RSOs Hardwork Pays Off in the Collegiate Orientation and Gaward Arriba 2022
  50. Knights fall to neighbors Pirates, record first loss
  51. Academic Year 2022-2023, Commences with Three Subsequent Annual Events
  52. Letranites Creativity and Passion Mirrors RSOs booths in the 2022 Org Fair
  53. Caralipio, Paraiso lift Knights past Tamaraws in FilOil EcoOil Preseason
  54. First Year CBAA Students, Welcomed to the Colegio with Binyag Arriba Day 2
  55. Colegio welcomes CLAS, COED, CEIT freshmen for Binyag Arriba Day 1
  56. Letran falters to UST, Gets Eliminated from Playoff Contention
  57. Wangs-Letran Bows To Baste, Drops Their Third in a Row
  58. Monkeypox detected in PH, Senate marks DOH Chief as 'urgent'
  59. Vape Law lapses into Law
  60. Wangs-Letran Stung by CEU Scorpions with Second Straight Loss
  61. Kobe Monje powers Letran to first FilOil Preseason Cup Win
  62. The New Slate of Officials for the 19th Congress of the Philippines
  63. Knights succumb to Green Archers in D-League
  64. The Trial Classes for the Elementary, Junior High School, and Senior High School of Letran: A Testament
  65. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his first SONA at the newly renovated Batasang Pambansa
  66. Shooting in Ateneo de Manila University Results into 3 Deaths and Several Injuries
  67. Teatro de Letran’s “Piladelpiya, Hirrr Ay Kammm!!!” Wows Teatro Europa’s Third Edition Launch; Letran Filipiniana Dance Company Opening, a Dazzling Comeback Performance.
  68. The Letran Let’s Flex Hyflex Program: The Start of Modern Innovative Education
  69. Wangs-Letran Outguns Gutsy Marinerong Pilipino, Gains solo Lead in D-League
  70. Letran Survives Gritty AMA Scare to Get 2nd Straight D-League Win
  71. Cyberknights Grab First Win in CCE, Goes 1-3
  72. Letran Gets Swept By San Sebastian, Officially Ends Season 97 Campaign
  73. Former CBCP President, Archbishop Lagdameo, dies at 81
  74. Sangalang, Paraiso, Caralipio provide championship composure as Letran overcomes pesky St. Clare
  75. Knights unveil roster for PBA D-League
  76. Letran stuns Mapua, Improves to 2-6
  77. Esports: Letran bows to Arellano and CSB in MLBB at the Collegiate Center for Esports Competition
  78. Lady Knights Yield to Lady Generals
  79. A Fight Against Poverty: Launching of Angat Buhay NGO
  80. President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.; Now on the Highest Seat of the Nation
  81. First woman-elect Lacuna takes oath as the 28th Mayor of Manila
  82. “It’s not a signal for me to stop, but to keep on going.”: NBA Dream still alive for Kai Sotto even after Draft Snub
  83. Letran bows to Lyceum; Drops to 1-4
  84. Lady Knights Escape San Beda in Five Set Thriller; Finally Enters Winning Column
  85. Knights sweep Cardinals, cops 19th NCAA title
  86. Letran Completes Comeback Over Mapua to Take Game One
  87. Still in Shining Armor: Letran Escaped The Altas’ Scare, Charges to the NCAA 97 Finals With an Unblemished Record.
  88. Letran Escapes Arch-rivals, Finishes Elimination Round With A Clean Sweep
  89. Elite Eight: Abando, Paraiso Lead Knights to Gritty Win Against Golden Stags, Secures Final Four Slot.
  90. Knights Thrash Bombers, Extending Their Unbeaten Streak to 7-0.  
  91. A Look Into Ping Lacson
  92. Letran Escapes Lyceum, Secures Fifth Straight Win of the Season
  93. Knights Continue Hot Streak, Trounces Mapua
  94. Letran Triumphs Over Perpetual, Abando Records Career Game
  95. Letran Dominates Arellano, gets 2nd Straight Win
  96. Letran Charges Back, Edges Benilde in NCAA ‘97 Opener
  97. Rewriting OPM: The P-pop Takeover
  98. Filipino Humor and Pinoy Comedy Films: A Sacrosanct Relationship
  99. The Unfaltering Voice of the Press
  100. To Get The Fire Back
  101. Pearl's Pride and Glory: First Philippine Republic Day
  102. CHED and DOH Visit Letran In Preparation For NCAA Bubble, Colegio Now Approved For Training
  103. Stand-up Comedy Culture with The KoolPals
  104. LCES, Finally an Official Alliance of AcadArena
  105. To The Unsung Heroes in Our Screens
  106. Tokyo 2021: Looking back and moving forward
  107. Exhibiting ‘Resiliency and Creativity’: NCAA Season 96 to kick off on June 13
  108. NCAA ‘Special’ Season 96 to push through with online sporting events in May
  109. Letran alumnus to send Colegio’s 400th Anniversary score and lyrics to the moon
  110. LOOKBACK: A glimpse of Letran’s Yellow Brick Road of Sports in 2020
  111. Two bullets each
  112. DENR awards Colegio with Gawad Maparaan
  113. Letran conducts webinar on violence against women
  114. The Greatest Reset
  115. Lloyd Cadena: More than a vlogger
  116. Long live the King!
  117. Former Tigers Paraiso, Bataller set to become new members of the Knights
  118. Killing our heroes
  119. Students urge suspension of online classes despite memo from VPAA
  120. Philippines under state of calamity due to COVID-19
  121. NCAA Season 95 suspended indefinitely
  122. Letranites express dismay over Paskong Arriba
  123. Quadricentennial Year 4 ends with a double celebration
  124. Letran dethrones San Beda, claims 18th title
  125. Dugong Arriba: Kilalanin ang ating Rektor