NCAA: Letran drops Arellano, dedicates win to Jerrick Balanza

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 06, 2018 06:13 PM
NCAA: Letran drops Arellano, dedicates win to Balanza
Bong Quinto and Letran were not going to be stopped as they dedicated their win to ailing Jerrick Balanza

Working without Jerrick Balanza for the first time in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran just kept on churning.

Bong Quinto did his thing once more as the inspired Knights muscled their way right through Arellano University, 99-82, on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Quinto fell two rebounds short of a third triple-double in a row and wound up with a season-high 26 points on top of 12 assists and eight rebounds.

Still, the two teams were neck-and-neck in the first half before Letran imposed its will inside in the second half. “Nag-relax kasi kaya medyo nagalit ako sa players ko, pero after that, nag-step up naman sila kaya nakuha namin yung panalo,” head coach Jeff Napa said post-game.

The tally was tied at 49-all early in the third quarter until their main man orchestrated a 12-0 offensive for a 61-49 lead.

Rence Alcoriza shot the Chiefs back to within six, 73-79, inside the last six minutes only to seen Quinto conspire with Bonbon Batiller for a 20-9 finishing kick.

Overpowering their opponents with a 56-40 advantage in inside points and 45-31 edge in rebounds, the Knights charged to joint third now at 7-3.

The win was much welcome as the Intramuros-based squad was rocked with the news that Balanza had a brain tumor and will be out for the rest of the season. “Dine-dedicate namin itong panalo para kay Jerrick. Given na naman yun,” coach Jeff said.

In his place, Batiller was stead with 11 points while Jeremiah Taladua contributed four markers and nine rebounds.

Larry Muyang also had 23 points and seven rebounds while JP Calvo chipped in 20 markers of his own.

For Arellano, Michael Canete and Archie Concepcion scored 17 points apiece to top the scoring column. Unable to match their opponents’ muscle, however, they dropped to 4-6.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 99 -- Quinto 26, Muyang 23, Calvo 20, Batiller 11, Fajarito 9, Ambohot 5, Taladua 4, Agbong 1, Banez 0, Celis 0, Mandreza 0, Pambid 0, Yu 0.

ARELLANO 82 -- Canete 17, Concepcion 17, Alban 12, Alcoriza 12, Villoria 10, Dela Cruz 8, Segura 4, Sera Josef 2, Bayla 0, Codinera 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Sacramento 0, Santos 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 22-17, 44-44, 65-58, 99-82.

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