Nambatac saves the day as Letran staves off Mapua

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 14, 2015 04:52 PM
Nambatac saves the day as Letran staves off Mapua
HERO BALL. Rey Nambatac outgained all of their opponents, 11-7, in the last five minutes.

With his seniors having another off game, third-year guard Rey Nambatac was not letting Colegio de San Juan de Letran suffer their first losing skid in the 91st Season of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

The Knights saw a 15-point halftime lead evaporate, but had Rey Nambatac rescue them by outgunning all of Mapua Institute of Technology in the endgame to down the Cardinals, 80-77, on Friday at the San Juan Arena.

Letran was up to its usual tricks with a 53-38 advantage at the half until Mapua rode a massive 29-7 surge to suddenly take a 67-60 lead. The Knights then scored five straight points before Exy Biteng drilled a triple to keep the Cardinals ahead, 70-65, with five minutes remaining.

It was at that point that Nambatac had all but one point in a 12-3 charge that reclaimed a 77-73 lead for Letran. Allwell Oraeme then made three of four free throws for Mapua, but Cruz got it right back with another trey.

All in all, Nambatac outscored the Cardinals 11-7 in the last five minutes. Talking about the fearless guard who led his team to an 8-1 finish in the first round, head coach Aldin Ayo said in his post-game conference, “Hindi pa nga 100 percent. Kala ko ‘di makalaro pero that's just Rey Nambatac.”

Nambatac finished with 22 points including six triples to go along with 10 rebounds and five steals while Cruz added 16 points and six assists.

Mapua fell to 4-5 despite the tireless effort by Oraeme who had 23 points, 28 rebounds, and four blocks without any rest.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 80 – Nambatac 22, Cruz 16, Balanza 11, Luib 10, Racal 9, Quinto 8, Apreku 2, Sollano 2, Calvo 0, Balagasay 0

MAPUA 77 – Oraeme 23, Biteng 15, Que 13, Serrano 8, Nieles 7, Menina 6, Aguirre 3, Raflores 2, Stevens 0, Villasenor 0, Brana 0

BOX SCORES: 25-21, 53-38, 60-59, 80-77

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