Letran falters against Perpetual, stays winless in Filoil tourney

By: Jerod Orcullo
May 17, 2024

Letran falls to the Perpetual in a brutal bout in the Filoil EcoOil ECJ Preseason Cup in San Juan. Photo courtesy of William Tulagan of The LANCE.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights were conquered by the Perpetual Altas, 77-69, in the 17th FilOil EcoOil ECJ Preseason Cup held at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan earlier today.

Jimboy Estrada followed up his impressive outing against San Beda with 18 points and three boards together with Nat Montecillo who fired off four three pointers enroute to 14 markers.

Fighting through an injury, Christian Pagaran came through when his team needed him most with two jumpers from the perimeter less than two minutes left in the game to put away the comeback seeking Knights.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair in the opening frame with both squads hustling for loose balls and converting on second-chance points, a Jovel Baliling three allowed the Knights to lead momentarily but Mark Gojo Cruz answered with his own trey, 19-21.

With Perpetual threatening to run away with the ball game, Estrada carried the offensive load with a seven to nothing run of his own cutting the deficit to two.

After an impressive showing on both ends of the floor, Pagaran had to be helped off the court near the four minute mark of the third with an apparent leg injury.

In spite of his absence, Letran surrendered their biggest deficit in the contest, 46-57, as they struggled to contain the streaky shooting and offensive pressure by their adversaries.

Coach Allen Ricardo’s group tried to chip away at the advantage through the early stretch of the final calvo with three pointers dropping for Estrada and Montecillo, but it ultimately was not enough as they dropped their second game of the tournament.

Pagaran took home the player of the game honors with a game-high 21 points, shooting an effective 61.5% from the field, with five boards, three steals, and two assists.

Letran continue their search for their first win of the FilOil Preseason Cup tomorrow, matching up against the College of Saint Benilde Blazers at 5:00 PM.