Loss to archrival San Beda awoke Letran to its potential

Loss to archrival San Beda awoke Letran to its potential
THIS IS US. Without a doubt, Letran has moved forward from its 1-3 start to the season.

Don’t look now, but Colegio de San Juan de Letran is on a three-game winning streak and is sitting pretty at solo third in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Early in the season, that seemed like such farfetched idea as they stumbled onto a 1-3 start.

The last one in that disappointing start was by the hands of archrival San Beda College last July 25.

Then, the Knights had a 10-point advantage in the first half only to cough it up and lose by seven, 74-81.

Looking back from where they are now, however, that loss just might be the turning point in their campaign. As Bong Quinto put it, “Nagsimula ‘to nung San Beda. Sila yung gumising sa amin para magkaroon kami ng chance.”

Indeed, playing uninspired early on, the Intramuros-based squad is now firing on all cylinders in ringing off consecutive victories at the expense of College of St. Benilde, Arellano University, and University of Perpetual Help.

Everybody from Rey Nambatac to Jeremiah Taladua and from Quinto to Jeo Ambohot is contributing for head coach Jeff Napa.

And all of them believe this is just the start for them. “Magandang chance ‘to para sa amin dahil nga third straight win na namin,” team captain Nambatac said after they notched their third win in a row on Friday.

He then continued, “Unti-unting nakukuha na namin yung rhythm namin, yung kumpyansa namin. Ito na yung momentum, nakuha na namin.”

And that goes not just for the players Napa regularly uses, but also to those he plucks out for surprising contributions. “Yung coaches, nag-iisip ng paraan para kahit papaano, biglang merong galing sa bench na mag-step up. Luckily si Caralipio, nag-step up,” he shared.

He then continued, “Yung mga intangibles talaga yung nagpabuhay sa amin kaya kami nakabalik sa laro.”

The mentor was referring to little-known King Caralipio who came out of nowhere to play a big part in their nipping of the Altas.

He only had one point in just 11 minutes, but his team was nine points better for each and every second he was playing.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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