Letran battles back from 17 points down to barge into win column

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 18, 2017 02:19 PM
Letran battles back from 17 down to barge into win column
GRIT N GRIND. Letran drew contributions from all over its lineup for win number one.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s poor play continued for all of the first 10 minutes on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

That is until Jeremiah Taladua came out of nowhere to start the fightback which Jeo Ambohot and Jerrick Balanza then finished.

Digging out of a 17-point hole in the first quarter, the Knights rallied by Emilio Aguinaldo College to register an 83-80 decision.

Taladua scored all of his 12 points in the second quarter while Balanza scored all of his eight points in the last eight minutes to help the Intramuros-based squad etch their first mark under the win column in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Rebounding from a heartbreaking loss to start the season, Jeff Napa’s wards improved to 1-1. “Muntikan nang maulit yung first game, pero luckily, yung mga bata, nag-wake up at nag-commit na gawin yung tama,” the head coach said post-game.

The Knights stumbled out of the gates and found themselves behind by 10, 3-13, after four minutes and still by 17, 9-26, late in the first. “Bad start talaga kasi may gigil e,” their mentor explained.

Come the second, however, Taladua came up big to front his team’s 29-point outburst in the quarter. “I’m happy na nakapag-adjust kami at nakabalik din kami,” Napa said.

Letran didn’t let up from that point and mounted a three-point lead, 60-57, early in the final frame which Ambohot’s back-to-back hits then increased to 66-57.

Still, the Generals kept coming as Jerome Garcia waxed hot in the last minute with two triples that pulled them to within three with 8.4 ticks to go.

Following a defensive stop, EAC got the ball back for what could have been a shot to force overtime, but Francis Munsayac failed to locate Garcia.

The Generals settled for a shot by Jethro Garcia which Balanza got a piece of.

In the end, Ambohot wound up with 15 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks while Rey Nambatac also added 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and three steals. “Lahat naman ng players ko, given na dapat mag-step up. It’s just a matter of time na lang talaga,” Napa said.

On the other hand, Francis Munsayac paced EAC with 22 points.

Sidney Onwubere also had a 20-point, 17-rebound double-double which was all for naught as the Generals failed to build on their season-opening win. They now hold a similar 1-1 card.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 83 – Ambohot 15, Nambatac 14, Quinto 14, Taladua 14, Calvo 9, Balanza 8, Pamulaklakin 4, Balagasay 3, Vacaro 2, Gedaria 0, Bernabe 0

EAC 80 – Munsayac 22, Onwubere 20, Garcia 13, Bautista 11, Laminou 7, Mendoza J 3, Pascua 2, Guzman 2, Diego 0, Mendoza I 0, Corilla 0, Neri 0

QUARTER SCORES: 12-28, 41-43, 58-54, 83-80

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