Robins ascend to solo lead as CSB-LSGH is upset by Baste
POWERING THROUGH. Letran put up a good fight, but defending champion Malayan still came out on top in the game that went the distance and an extra period.
San Beda 8-5
San Sebastian 6-6
Game in and game out, Malayan High School of Science is being challenged in its title defense in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament.
On Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, the latest challenge came from their much-improved neighboring rival Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
And still, the Red Robins proved to have more than enough for a well-fought 81-76 win against the Squires in overtime.
Randy Alcantara’s boys actually found themselves trailing most of the time as Letran showcased all that led it to a six-game winning streak heading into the game. “Good win sa amin kasi kami naman naghahabol from the start e,” the head coach said.
Little by little, however, Malayan clawed themselves back into the matchup and by the final frame, the two teams were even. “Credit sa mga bata kasi binigay nila lahat nila,” Alcantara said.
With the tally tied after four periods, the two teams needed overtime to settle the score.
There, the Robins’ championship experience came through as Will Gozum’s block led to a fastbreak layup for Joaqui Garcia and another defensive stop led to Clint Escamis’ slash-to-score for a 78-74 lead with 36.4 ticks to go.
Lakksman Ganapathy kept things interesting for the Squires, but was immediately answered by Gozum’s inside basket.
Not long after, Malayan was celebrating its rise to a league-leading 11-2 standing. “Malayo pa ‘to. Ang focus pa rin muna namin, makuha yung twice-to-beat,” Alcantara said.
In the end, Gozum had 10 points, 21 rebounds, and seven blocks; Garcia had 11 points and four assists; and Escamis had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists.
Topping the scoring column was Carl Lacap who had 21 markers to his name.
Those four were more than enough to put down the Squires.
Even with the loss, however, the gallant stand should be a source of pride for a squad that was not even mentioned among contenders a season ago. With an 8-5 record, Letran stays at the third spot.
The defending champions are now alone atop the leaderboard after College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills found itself at the wrong end of an upset by San Sebastian College-Recoletos.
Damie Cuntapay towered above all for 16 points and 14 rebounds to lift the Staglets over the erstwhile pacesetting Junior Blazers, 71-67.
A total of four players were in double-digit scoring in San Sebastian’s fourth win in a row and sixth overall in 12 games. They now stand in solo fifth.
Inand Fornilos had eight points and 11 rebounds, but neither he nor his fellow frontcourt players were a match for Cuntapay.
Joel Cagulangan had 16 points and six assists to show the way for the Junior Blazers who were forced to take a step back onto a 10-3 standing, still good for solo second.
Meanwhile, San Beda High School stayed on the right track after avenging its loss to Jose Rizal High School, 70-69.
Evan Nelle topped the scoring column with 19 points to make sure the Red Cubs did not suffer another shocker against the Light Bombers.
More importantly, the win pushed San Beda into a streak and onto an 8-5 record.
Just right behind them, however, and still fighting for a spot in the Final Four are Arellano High School and Lyceum of the Philippines University following separate wins.
The Braves whipped Emilio Aguinaldo College, 81-70, on the back of MVP leader Aaron Fermin who yet again posted monster numbers of 25 points, 23 rebounds, and four blocks.
It was a much-needed win for Arellano which had been on a three-game slide, but now improves to 6-7.
Tying them for the sixth spot are the Junior Pirates who weathered University of Perpetual Help, 74-72.
Vincent Cunanan had 20 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals and teamed up with Mac Guadana who had 12 markers, seven boards, and three pilfers.
All of Baste, Arellano, and LPU remain within striking distance of two of the last four spots in the Final Four.
Their respective losses dropped the Junior Altas to 4-8, the Light Bombers to 4-9, and the Brigadiers to 1-12.
FIRST GAME, FRIDAY
SAN BEDA 70 – Nelle 19, Alfaro 13, Etrata 11, Tagala 6, Abu Hijleh 6, Mahinay 5, Velasquez 3, Garcia 3, Obenza 2, Dela Rosa 2, Lagumen 0, Nayve 0, Sese 0
JRU 69 – Serrano 21, Agustin 19, Camua 10, Tolentino 9, Caballero 8, Buazon 2, Amores 0, Dionisio 0, Buno 0, Delos Santos 0, Vasquez 0
QUARTER SCORES: 27-18, 43-42, 58-55, 70-69
SECOND GAME, FRIDAY
ARELLANO 81 – Fermin 25, Bataller 17, Camacho 12, Fornis 10, Tamayo 5, Codinera 4, Domingo 3, Segura 2, Camilosa 2, De Leon 1, Camarillo 0, Rivera 0, Velasco 0, Liangco 0
EAC 70 – Cruz 22, De Quiros 16, Dulatre 10, Castillo 7, Oriondo 7, Boado 4, Mananquil 2, Matilde 2, Tapales 0, Baliquig 0, Ligot 0
QUARTER SCORES: 30-10, 39-34, 65-46, 81-70
THIRD GAME, FRIDAY
MALAYAN 81 – Lacap 21, Escamis 19, Garcia 11, Gozum 10, Bonifacio 9, Jabel 6, Enriquez 3, Socias 0, Ramos 0, Sarias 0
LETRAN 76 – Cordero 13, Peralta 13, Valdez 11, Guarino 11, Ganapathy 9, Monje 6, Aniban 6, Reyson 4, Tolentino 3, Tamayo 0, Culanay 0, Fuentes 0
QUARTER SCORES: 17-20, 32-35, 54-54, 70-70, 81-76 (OT)
FIRST GAME, THURSDAY
LPU 74 – Barba 21, Cunanan 20, Guadana 12, Arenal 6, Ruiz 4, Sandoval 4, Jungco 3, Salazar 3, Umpad 1, Caringal 0, Cuevas 0
PERPETUAL 72 – Razon 20, Cuevas 10, Bongay 10, Umali 10, Gallano 9, Siegue 5, Rocero 4, De Leon 2, Maneze 2, Duka 0, Sta. Teresa 0
QUARTER SCORES: 15-21, 34-35, 57-51, 74-72
SECOND GAME, THURSDAY
SAN SEBASTIAN 71 – Cuntapay 16, Villapando 12, Desoyo 11, Calahat 10, Timbancaya 9, Pasamante 9, Rodriguez 3, Pelas 1, Aguilar 0, Sumoda 0, Suico 0, Umayao 0
CSB-LSGH 67 – Cagulangan 16, Bordeos 15, Marcos 9, Fornilos 8, David 7, Perez 5, Lao 3, Dela Cruz 2, Sangco 2, Mosqueda 0, Pedrosa 0, Lepalam 0, Morales 0
QUARTER SCORES: 16-14, 31-30, 54-45, 71-67
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