Knights suffer hard-fought loss against the Red Lions

By: Jerod Orcullo
May 11, 2024

The Letran Knights fall to the San Beda Red Lions in the 17th Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup. Photo courtesy of Thomas Dominick Borja of The LANCE.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights opened the 17th Filoil Preseason Cup with a loss against rival San Beda Red Lions, 69-76, at Filoil EcoOil Centre earlier today.

Rookie standout, Jimboy Estrada, finished with an efficient 16 points and five rebounds, while Kobe Monje had a near double-double outing with 14 markers and eight boards

The Knights had no way of fanning the fiery shooting of Joshua Tagala, who cashed in six out of his seven attempts from rainbow country, with his final mark being the dagger that extended their lead and sealed the win for the Red Lions.

Estrada had an instant offensive impact off the bench with three quick-hitters from mid-range but he had to be checked out after he recorded his third personal foul at the 2:48 mark of the first.

Less than two minutes into the second canto, James Pradella was assessed with a disqualifying foul after he inadvertently threw the ball at the face of San Beda's Kevin Pregrina.

Coach Allen Ricardo's squad managed to put together some stops and convert on their own shots, limiting the deficit to single-digits and narrowed it to as close as to two by the halftime horn, 39-41.

The Muralla-based group got their first taste of the advantage after back-to-back baskets by Monje and three by Deo Cuajao but the Red Lions quickly answered with a nine to nothing run to regain the lead.

Despite the efforts of the Knights to develop momentum to steal the win, the well simply ran dry in the final minutes of the contest as they failed to make their looks and turned over the ball en route to the loss.

Tagala led his team with a game-high 20 points, along with two rebounds and two steals, backed by Jomel Puno churned out 13 markers, seven boards, and three steals.

Letran will try to bounce back in their following matchup against the University of Perpetual Help System-DALTA Altas on May 17th at 1:00 PM.