Ambohotís putback rescues Letran, Nambatac from elimination

Ambohotís putback rescues Letran, Nambatac from elimination
CLEANUP CREW. Jeo Ambohot extended Rey Nambatac's NCAA career a little longer.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran is not about to stop working in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

That much was clear as Jeo Ambohot did not stop working to keep their hopes well and alive.

Cleaning up Rey Nambatac’s missed layup, Jeo Ambohot lifted the Knights over gutsy Arellano University for a 70-68 thriller of a triumph on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Down by one with 7.6 ticks to go, Jeff Napa put the ball in the hands of his graduating guard. “Kahit naman ano, manalo, matalo, kay Rey ako pupunta,” the head coach said afterward.

Nambatac did what his team needed, beating Rence Alcoriza and making his way into the paint. There, he was challenged by Lervin Flores, but was still able to put a shot up.

The ball only rolled around the ring, however.

Fortunately for Letran, their second-year center was at the right place and at the right time to clean up the miss.

That make would prove to be the difference between the two teams as Levi Dela Cruz’s inbound pass went too wide for the Chiefs. “Gaya ng sinabi ko, kailangan talaga naming maglaro ng A-game against Arellano. Buti naman nagawa namin mga kailangang gawin,” Napa said.

Moments later, JP Calvo’s split from the stripe put the finishing touches in the Knights’ extension to their campaign.

Even with the big win, however, they are not yet in the Final Four as they still have to down San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Tuesday at the MOA Arena.

Without a doubt, their team captain wants to keep playing in his final season as his 25 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and one steal in this game showed.

Calvo chipped in 11 markers, five boards, and two dimes while Ambohot wound up with four points, seven rebounds, two blocks as well as the crucial go-ahead basket.

For Arellano, Dela Cruz’s star shone brighter with 18 points while Alcoriza had for himself a breakout game with 16 points, all but three coming in the final frame.

Those were all for naught, however, as Ambohot’s putback put a stop to their season.

With Dela Cruz and Alcoriza coming back for an encore as well as a 100 percent Kent Salado, the future remains promising for the Chiefs.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 70 – Nambatac 25, Calvo 11, Quinto 9, Balanza 8, Vacaro 6, Balagasay 5, Ambohot 4, Gedaria 2, Taladua 0

ARELLANO 68 – Dela Cruz 18, Alcoriza 16, Canete 12, Flores 7, Enriquez 5, Taywan 4, Nicholls 3, Abanes 3, Concepcion 0, Villoria 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Meca 0

QUARTER SCORES: 24-16, 38-36, 54-49, 70-68

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