Letran absorbs an 18-point drubbing versus white-hot Benilde

By: Jerod Orcullo
November 19, 2023

The Letran Knights fall once again to the CSB Blazers in the second round of the NCAA Season 99 Men's Basketball. Photo courtesy of Eduardo Nollora Jr. of The LANCE.

The Letran Knights were outclassed by the Benilde Blazers, 54-72, in their second round matchup in the NCAA Season 99 tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Sports Centre in San Juan earlier today.

In spite of the loss, Kobe Monje carved out an impressive near double-double performance with 18 markers and nine boards, followed only by eight points apiece by Stephen Garupil and Deo Cuajao. 

The Intramuros-based squad’s attempts at clawing back into the game were futile at best as Benilde paced themselves en route to the victory, 54-72.

Coach Charles Tiu's men came out swinging after halftime with an outstanding display of offense led by Miguel Corteza and Mark Sangco to outscore Letran, 15-24.

Both teams looked poised in the opening half as neither team wanted to surrender a sizable deficit with each team dousing any attempt at a run headed to the break, 33-35.

After losing Will Gozum at the start of the third to an apparent knee injury, Corteza and Sangco stepped up big for Benilde as the blue shirts stood at their mercy with them accounting for 21 of their 24 points.

Inside or outside, they had their way at Letran's defense as offensively the Knights did not have enough firepower to keep up going into the final quarter, 48-59.

Benilde's two headed beast of Corteza and Sangco finished the game with 13 each while gunner Miguel Oczon chipped in 12 points of his own.

Letran will look to bounce back from the loss and finish the season off strong against bitter-rival San Beda Red Lions on November 24 at 4:00 PM in the FilOil EcoOil Sports Centre in San Juan.


The scores:

Quarter Scores: 15-15, 33-35, 48-59, 54-72.

LETRAN (54)– Monje 18, Garupil 8, Cuajao 8, Javillonar 6, Batallier 5, Santos 4, Bojorcelo 3, Jumao-as 2, Bautista 0, Go 0, Ariar 0.

BENILDE (72)– Corteza 13, Sangco 13, Oczon 12, Gozum 9, Nayve 8, Cajucom 5, Mara 4, Marcos 4, Carlos 2, Turco 2, Arciaga 0, Jarque 0, Davis 0, Marasigan 0.