Letran returns to winning form just in time for playoff push

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 19, 2017 06:36 PM
Letran returns to winning form just in time for playoff push
SADDLE UP. Letran is back in the playoff picture after a much-needed win against Arellano.

Just in time for the stretch run in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Colegio de San Juan de Letran has put a stop to its downward spiral.

Leaning on big-time scoring outbursts from Bong Quinto and JP Calvo as well as steely resolve in the endgame, the Knights weathered the storm brought about by desperate Arellano University, 84-73, on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Quinto posted a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double while Calvo fired eight of his 20 markers in the final frame as Jeff Napa’s wards barged back into the win column now at 6-6. “At least, nakabalik na kami sa win columm. Important win sa amin ‘to,” the head coach said.

This puts a stop to a three-game slide that, at one point, took them out of the playoff picture. “We took care of business ngayon and pambwelo sa amin ‘to ulit,” Napa said.

Now, however, they are tied for fourth with Emilio Aguinaldo College.

Letran was in control for majority of the matchup and still led by 12, 79-65, with under two minutes remaining until the Chiefs staged a comeback and came as close as 73-79.

It was at that point that Marwin Taywan committed an unfortunate unsportsmanlike foul that sent Rey Nambatac to the line.

That was just the gift birthday boy Napa needed as Nambatac split from the stripe and with the ballback, Calvo’s triple finished the job in their much-needed win. “JP, consistent naman siya. Yung others ang kailangan sumunod,” the now 37-year-old mentor shared.

The Knights’ captain wound up with 14 points and eight rebounds while Jerrick Balanza and Alex Mandreza chipped in eight points apiece off the bench. “Good thing sumunod nga yung iba and naging maganda ang result para sa amin ngayon,” Napa said.

For Arellano, Kent Salado showed the way with 23 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Still without much help, however, he saw his squad drop back-to-back losses now at 4-8.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 84 – Calvo 20, Quinto 20, Nambatac 14, Balanza 8, Mandreza 8, Gedaria 4, Vacaro 4, Taladua 4, Balagasay 2, Bernabe 0

ARELLANO 73 – Salado 23, Alcoriza 10, Flores 7, Dela Cruz 7, Meca 6, Taywan 6, Canete 5, Concepcion 3, Abanes 3, Nicholls 2, Villoria 1, Enriquez 0

QUARTER SCORES: 26-20, 45-36, 68-59, 84-73

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