Minus Nambatac, Letran finally barges into win column

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 31, 2017 05:38 PM
Minus Nambatac, Letran finally barges into win column
THRILLER. JP Calvo delivered the goods in Letran's breakthrough win.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran had to work harder and longer for its first win in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament.

Still, the Knights wouldn’t have it any other way.

JP Calvo and Bong Quinto put Letran on their shoulders late as they eked out an 89-81 thriller of a triumph over University of Sto. Tomas on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre

“Nakapasok na rin sa wakas,” head coach Jeff Napa expressed right as he entered the press room for his team’s first win in five games.

It was Calvo and Quinto who gifted him with the win as they outscored all of the Tigers in overtime, 8-6. “Siguro, nagsawa na rin kami sa puro talo,” Napa said.

Calvo and Quinto made good on three of four free throws to start the extra period and fronted the 7-1 run that gave Letran an 82-76 advantage.

Christian Garcia was not going down without a fight, however, and still pulled UST within 81-85 with 48 ticks to go before Calvo and Jeremiah Taladua converted all four of their charities to keep them at bay once and for all.

In the end, Calvo had 10 points, eight assists, and five rebounds while Quinto posted a 20-point, 15-rebound double-double for the Knights who were playing without injured top gun Rey Nambatac. “Yung character ng team, unti-unti nang lumalabas. Kahit na meron kaming injuries, yung iba, nag-step up,” Napa said.

Along with missing its main man, Letran also had to persevere through losing a lead of as much as 18 points late in the third quarter. “Sabi ko sa kanila, dito talaga masusubukan yung character ng team,” Napa said.

Jerrick Balanza topped the scoring column with 24 points for 1-4 Letran which just fanned the flames of its playoff hopes. “At least, maganda yung nangyari ngayon and makakabwelo na kami,” Napa expressed.

On the other hand, the Tigers fell to 1-5 despite the best efforts of Steve Akomo who had 23 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocks.

Garcia also wound up with 17 markers to his name – many coming while leading his team’s 24-11 rally in the final frame.

UST only made 26 of their 50 attempts from the free throw line.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 89 – Balanza 24, Quinto 20, Calvo 10, Vacaro 10, Ambohot 9, Taladua 8, Caralipio 4, Balagasay 2, Bernabe 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Gedaria 0, Pascual 0, Mandreza 0

UST 81 – Akomo 23, Garcia 17, Lee 16, Huang 9, Sta. Ana 7, Basibas 4, Caunan 4, Escalambre 1, De Guzman 0, Faundo 0, Macasaet 0, Lorenzana 0

QUARTER SCORES: 23-22, 35-33, 64-51, 75-75, 89-81 (OT)

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