Quinto proves worth in pushing Letran past Perpetual

Quinto proves worth in pushing Letran past Perpetual
GRIT. Bong Quinto and Letran showed character in their third win in a row at the expense of Perpetual.

Bong Quinto took an elbow to the face and had to be subbed out with the matchup between Colegio de San Juan de Letran and University of Perpetual Help on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre still hanging in the balance.

The first chance there was, however, he stood up from the bench and got back in the game.

Quinto returned to the court and made an immediate impact with what turned out to be the game-winning layup with 12.6 ticks to go to lift the Knights over the Altas, 63-61.

The fourth-year forward’s big-time basket coupled with standout team defense in the dying seconds towed the Intramuros-based squad to its third consecutive victory following a 1-3 start in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament. “Give credit sa mga bata talaga. Talagang nagtrabaho sila para makuha yung panalo,” a satisfied head coach Jeff Napa said post-game.

Quinto finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and three assists in 28 productive minutes. No play was bigger than when he drove into the lane and drilled the tiebreaker between the two teams that weren’t giving an inch to each other.

In the prior possession, the versatile big man got hit in the chin by Prince Eze during a rebounding sequence. As such, he was forced back to the bench before gutting out and getting the biggest make of the game.

“Hindi sila bumigay and talagang pinakita yung character ng team,” Napa said. “Especially yung mga veteran, nag-stand out.”

The Altas still had a chance for extra time, but Eze botched his short stab and Gab Dagangon was unable to handle the inbound for what would have been a final heave.

Rey Nambatac also added a 12-point, 15-rebound double-double for Letran which is slowly but surely looking like a top team in the tournament.

Still, it was also Quinto who got three points and one assist in the 5-0 run that turned a five-point deficit for Napa’s wards into a score of 61-all with 1:34 remaining.

Little-known King Caralipio was also a factor in that run as his entry granted the Knights the openings they needed. “Si Caralipio, nag-step up. Yung mga intangibles talaga yung nagpabuhay sa amin kaya kami nakabalik sa laro,” Napa said.

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

Riding a three-game winning streak, Letran now heads into critical contests against fellow contenders San Sebastian College-Recoletos and Lyceum of the Philippines University.

On the other hand, Perpetual fell for the second time in a row and now stand at 2-4.

Eze showed the way for them with an 18-point, 16-rebound double-double. Dangangon also turned in his best game of the season with 10 markers.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 63 – Quinto 14, Nambatac 12, Balanza 12, Calvo 11, Pascual 5, Vacaro 4, Ambohot 2, Balagasay 2, Caralipio 1, Taladua 0, Bernabe 0

PERPETUAL 61 – Eze 18, Dagangon 10, Ylagan 7, Yuhico 5, Sadiwa 5, Tamayo 5, Coronel 4, Hao 3, Pido 2, Mangalino 2, Singontiko 0, Lucente 0

QUARTER SCORES: 14-7, 24-19, 39-36, 63-61

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