GENERAL SHOCKER! EAC hands Letran first loss
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 07, 2015 05:07 PM
IT'S TRUE. EAC delivered the biggest surprise of the season by sullying Letran's once immaculate record.
Once again, Emilio Aguinaldo College sent the NCAA 91 Men's Basketball Tournament as statement that they shouldn't be underestimated by doing something that nobody else – not the five-peat champions nor the other three semifinalists a year ago – has accomplished.
The Generals became the first team to break through the once-thought-of unsolvable Colegio de San Juan de Letran defense for a huge 83-69 upset on Friday at the San Juan Arena.
The erstwhile cellar-dwelling Generals traded blows with the league-leading Knights and had the score tied at 52 early in the final frame. Jorem Morada then ignited a 14-3 blast that suddenly boosted EAC ahead, 66-55.
A bailout three by Mcjour Luib trimmed the Letran deficit to eight, but Francis Munsayac got it right back with a triple of his own. Mark Cruz was then fouled from deep and hit only two of three before Morada converted a four-point play to push the Generals’ advantage to 13, 73-60, inside the last four minutes.
Cruz inched the Knights back to single digits a couple of times, but they didn't really pose a threat to fall for the first time in eight games. A very satisfied coach Andy de Guzman said in his post-game conference, “Parang naka-championship kami.”
EAC outworked and outhustled their opponents for a huge 67-42 edge in rebounds and 17-4 advantage in second chance points. Cameroonian Hamadou Laminou dominated the entire Letran frontline for a monster 20-point, 24-rebound double-double to lift the Generals to 2-5.
Kevin Racal and Mark Cruz had 18 and 16 points for the Knights, but shot a combined 35 percent from the field. The Intramuros-based school did not have head coach Aldin Ayo who was serving a one-game suspension.
EAC 83 – Hamadou 20, Morada 18, Onwubere 18, Munsayac 7, Mejos 6, Diego 6, Pascua 3, Bonleon 2, Corilla 2, Mallari 1, Pascual 0
LETRAN 69 – Racal 18, Cruz 16, Nambatac 11, Sollano 6, Apreku 4, Balanza 4, Calvo 3, Luib 3, Balagasay 2, Publico 2
QUARTER SCORES: 18-13, 28-36, 52-50, 83-69
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