Tamaraws’ final second blitz ends Knights’ Preseason conquest

By: Kim Yoshi Espiritu
June 12, 2024

Letran ends its journey with Bronze after a final yet close match against FEU. Photo courtesy of Thomas Villanueva.

The FEU Tamaraws thwarted the undermanned Letran Knights from stealing the Bronze Medal in the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup, 78-80, earlier at the Filoil EcoOil Arena. 

Sharpshooting guard, Deo Cuajao, led the hunt with 27 points on seven trifectas with five boards, and three rebounds, while uprising floor-general Jonathan “Titing” Manalili poured 15 markers and seven dimes. 

The Tamaraws connected from all cylinders from the tip before Titing channeled his inner daredevil to slash his way in the land of giants and managed to sneak six points for Letran. 

This prompted renowned PBA Import and Tamaraws’ Head Coach Sean Chambers to call time, cementing an 11-point gap in the half, 38-49.

Gluing things together, a short halftime huddle was everything that the Knights required to fuel their spirits and pulverize the deficit — steering the game into their favor for the first time in the match, 67-60. 

A zone defense primarily focused in the paint was Letran’s chain to hold down the double-double machine, Mo Konateh. The strategy by Coach Allen Ricardo was utilized in their recent match-ups and proved to be effective in countering taller Foreign Student Athletes (FSA) of the UAAP. 

Bypassed by the Green and Gold, the cagers from Intramuros upped the ante by trying their luck with shots from outside the arc, unfortunately they only made 10 out of 34 attempts which translated to only 29%.

Jorick Bautista led the winning team with an efficient 21 points and was backstopped by a monstrous double-double outing from Mohamed Konateh, producing 11 points, 21 rebounds, and 5 dimes.

The Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights have now concluded their preseason conquests and will now regroup in Muralla — with sharpened swords and forged armory heading into the main prize, the NCAA Season 100 Basketball Tournament. 


QUARTER SCORES: 17-24, 38-49, 67-62, 78-80.

LETRAN (78) - Cuajao 27, Manalili 15, Dimaano 10, Go 8, Balilin 5, Galoy 5, Pradela 3, Montecillo 3, Ariar 2, Alarcon 0, Brillantes 0, Garupil 0, Jumao-as 0, Nuna 0, Tangka 0. 

FEU (80) - Bautista 21, Alforque 19, Pre 13, Konateh 11, Bagunu 6, Daa 5, Ona 3, Godinez 2, Beato 0, Buenaventura 0, Felipe 0, Gordon 0, Montemayor 0.