Cruz and Luib blaze Letran past CSB
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 10, 2015 04:34 PM
NOT THIS TIME. Mark Cruz and Mcjour Luib weren't letting another bottom four team upset Letran.
Facing another upset at the hands of a bottom four squad in the 91st Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s “Ant-man” and ultimate role player looked at each other and said, “Not this time.”
Mark Cruz and Mcjour Luib fronted a furious fightback in the final frame that had the Knights stomping all over the College of St. Benilde Blazers, 79-69, on Thursday at the San Juan Arena.
The Blazers, who started the game standing seventh out of 10 teams, played well enough in the initial three quarters to get a 56-54 edge against league-leading Letran. Once the final frame began, however, the Knights finally decided to play up to their usual standards and went on an 18-9 rampage to suddenly snatch a 72-65 lead inside the last six minutes.
Two free throws closed CSB to only five points down, but five straight points by Cruz fronted the Knights’ 7-0 run to close the game. Talking about his boys’ rise to 11-2 and return to solo first, coach Aldin Ayo said in his post-game conference, “We started flat on defense. Good thing in the fourth quarter, naka-recover ang mga bata sa depensa.”
Indeed, Letran limited their opponents to only 13 points in the fourth all while Cruz and Luib combined for 14 of their 36 points in the last 10 minutes.
Jonathan Grey and JJ Domingo had 14 points apiece for the Blazers who were unable to sustain their good start to fall to 3-10.
LETRAN 79 – Cruz 20, Racal 18, Luib 16, Sollano 9, Quinto 9, Nambatac 5, Apreku 2, Calvo 0, Balagasay 0
CSB 69 – Domingo JJ 14, Grey 14, Ongteco 12, Saavedra 10, Nayve 6, Domingo JS 5, Jonson 3, Young 3, Fajarito 2, Deles 0, Sta. Maria 0, Castor 0
BOX SCORES: 13-22, 40-38, 54-56, 79-69
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