Letran rampage continues all the way to solo first

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 23, 2015 06:57 PM
Letran rampage continues all the way to solo first
PERFECT. Letran is now alone atop the leaderboard with an unblemished 5-0 slate.

College of St. Benilde, Jose Rizal University, San Beda College, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and now University of Perpetual Help: All victims of rampaging Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the NCAA 91 Men's Basketball Tournament.

With an unforgiving full-court press and Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac delivering the baskets, the Knights handed the Altas their first defeat, 79-71, on Thursday at the San Juan Arena.

The early-season key matchup was close at the half with Letran only ahead by a single basket, 36-34, until Nambatac scored all but two points in a 13-6 charge that ballooned the lead to 49-40 early in the third.

The Knights managed their advantage until back-to-back hits by Scottie Thompson neared Perpetual to 61-67. However, a Cruz triple fronted a 7-2 counter that remounted a 74-63 lead with 3:22 remaining.

The Altas were unable to get any closer as coach Aric del Rosario waved the white flag by pulling Thompson with 1:13 still on the clock.

Cruz and Nambatac scored 15 points apiece while rookie Jom Sollano collected 14 points, six rebounds, three blocks, and three steals as Letran ascended to the top of the leaderboard with a still unblemished record of 5-0.

Still, head coach Aldin Ayo reminded everyone that all of this means nothing yet as he said in his post-game interview, "We haven't achieved anything yet. Nasa good spot lang kami."

Reigning MVP Scottie Thompson scored 22 points, but missed nine of his 14 shots while also turning the ball over seven times. Nigerian Bright Akhuetie was also held down to only seven points as Perpetual fell to 4-1.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 79 - Nambatac 15, Cruz 15, Sollano 14, Racal 11, Luib 8, Quinto 8, Calvo 4, Apreku 2, Publico 2, Buenaflor 0

PERPETUAL 72 - Thompson 22, Dagangon 12, Eze 10, Akhuetie 7, Ylagan 6, Coronel 5, Dizon 3, Oliveria 2, Elopre 2, Gallardo 1, Sadiwa 1, Tamayo 0, Cabiltes 0, Pido 0

QUARTER SCORES: 16-17, 36-34, 58-51, 79-71

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