Photo by: Angela Davocol/GMA Sports PH
STILL UNDEFEATED – The Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights got their 8th straight victory, defeating the San Sebastian College – Recoletos Golden Stags, 73-69, earlier today, April 26.
Coming off a huge win against the JRU Heavy Bombers last Saturday, the Knights went wire-to-wire against the Stags as they rallied in the endgame despite leading by double-digits in the majority of the 2nd half. Letran continued to show their dominance on both ends of the court, limiting Baste to only 9 assists, shooting only 35% from the field and forcing them to commit 14 turnovers. Letran’s bench mob once again made their presence felt, scoring 44 of the 73 points for the whole team.
Things started a bit slowly, with the Stags even leading by 2 at the end of the first quarter. Letran, however, shifted into higher gears, hitting 4 three-pointers by the end of the first half. Adding fuel to the fire, SSC-R’s Rommel Calahat got called for a disqualifying foul after he hit Tommy Olivario with an elbow to the forehead during the 2nd quarter.
Rhenz Abando put on a show in the third quarter as they extended the lead by as much as 15 while displaying both their high-flying and defensive prowess. Abando again put up MVP-type numbers, finishing with 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and a block.
Even facing an eleven-point deficit heading into the final frame, San Sebastian fought back and trimmed the lead to as low as 5 with under a minute left in the fourth. They were led by JM Calma, who finished with 22 points and 14 boards.
Keeping their end-game poise, Brent Paraiso hit 3 jumpers in the fourth, including a booming triple, to keep the Stags at bay. He finished the game with 10 points. Mark Sangalang also contributed 12 points and 8 rebounds, while team captain Jeo Ambohot finished with 11 points and 6 boards.
Despite their impressive win, Coach Bonnie Tan stated that they still need to improve on the execution of their offense as well as their rebounding. He also stated that this game is preparing them for a battle with rival San Beda. This win over San Sebastian guarantees at least a top 2 finish for the Knights, assuring them of a twice-to-beat advantage coming into the playoffs.
The Knights will be looking to continue their undefeated streak to end the eliminations as they face the San Beda Red Lions in the Fil-Oil Arena in San Juan on Friday, welcoming fans and audiences for the first time this season.
Letran 73 - Abando 18, Sangalang 12, Ambohot 11, Paraiso 10, Caralipio 6, Olivario 5, Javillonar 4, Mina 4, Reyson 3, Yu 0, Fajarito 0.
San Sebastian 69 - Calma 22, Abarquez 9, Altamirano 8, Villapando 7, Are 6, Desoyo 5, Dela Cruz 5, Cosari 4, Shanoda 2, Calahat 1, Concha 0, Felebrico 0, Loristo 0, Gabat 0.
12-14, 32-24, 55-44, 73-69