Letran escapes UE, advances to Filoil Preseason Cup semis

By: Jerod Orcullo
June 09, 2024

Letran enters the semi-finals after its latest victory against UE in the Filoil EcoOil ECJ Preseason Cup. Photo courtesy of Eduardo Nollora Jr. of The LANCE.

The Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights shunned the UE Red Warriors, 70-66, at the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup quarter finals held at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan yesterday afternoon.

Jonathan Manalili showcased his brilliance yet again with an efficient 19 points, five assists, four rebounds, and a pair of steals, while Deo Cuajao carried some of the offensive load by leading the Knights in scoring as he made his living from the stripe with 22 markers and four boards.

Letran trailed for a majority of the contest with UE constantly having an answer every time that they inch closer to tying the ball game, leading at one point by as much as nine late into the second quarter, 33-42.

With the game at its most volatile, Letran banked upon its Squires call-ups as Manalili scored off a steal and transition layup and Jovel Baliling hit a shot from beyond the arc to knot the score at an even 60.

In spite of this, Rain Maga continued to pour it on for the Red Warriors with six points from the perimeter in the fourth, which also allowed them to once again create a four-point cushion.

After Cuajao hit a stepback triple, Precious Momowei quickly answered with an interior basket that ended up being their final points of the match with four minutes still remaining in their matchup.

The Knights pounced on their opponent's stagnating offense as they closed out the game on a seven to nothing run sparked by Manalili's go-ahead three from the top of the key that tied it up, 66-66.

Cuajao ensured the win as he hit four out of his five free throws in the dying seconds of the contest as they set their sights on the semi-finals.

Momowei churned out a double-double performance with 10 points and 14 rebounds, while John Abate and Maga chipped in 14 and 13, respectively.

Letran will once again face the De La Salle Green Archers later today at 6:00 P.M. to determine who will play for the Filoil Preseason Cup gold this coming Wednesday, June 12.


QUARTER SCORES: 20-23, 36-44, 55-58, 70-66

LETRAN (70) – Cuajao 22, Manalili 19, Galoy 10, Go 4, Nunag 4, Baliling 3, Dimaano 3, Montecillo 2, Pradela 2, Jumao-As 1, Alarcon 0, Brillantes 0, Garupil 0, Tangkay 0

UE (66) – Abate 14, Maga 13, Momowei 10, Galang 9, Mulingtapang 6, Spandonis 6, Cruz-Domont 4, Lingolingo 3, Robles 1, Fong 0, Jardinico 0, Niric 0, Mahilim 0, Malaga 0, Pacheco 0