NCAA Season 94: Knights secure Final Four berth
Mark Escarlote on Oct 09, 2018 03:46 PM
Letran advanced to the Final Four for the first time in three years.
Letran fought off the third quarter outburst of San Sebastian College - Recoletos with a scoring barrage in the payoff period for a 79-61 win to clinch a spot in the Final Four of the NCAA Season 94 men's seniors basketball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
After squandering a 17-point lead at the half when the Stags cut down their deficit to seven heading into the fourth quarter, the Knights dropped a 13-2 blitz to widen the gap to 72-54 with just four minutes left in the game.
From there Letran cruised to its 12th win in 16 games and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since winning it all back in Season 91.
"Thankful kami kasi umabot kami sa ganitong sitwasyon pero di pa rin naman ito ang gusto naming mangyari. Mayroon pa kaming last two games na kailangang trabahuhin before we look forward doon sa Final Four," said Letran coach Jeff Napa, whose squad will wrap the elimination round against University of Perpetual Help and College of St. Benilde.
Larry Muyang finished with a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds while Bonbon Batiller and Nico Galvelo added 15 and 14 markers, respectively, for the Knights. Chris Fajarito got 11 markers in Letran's fifth straight win.
A sweep by the Intramuros-based squad in its last two outings coupled by either Lyceum of the Philippines University (14-2) or San Beda University (14-1) not reaching 15 wins will force a playoff for a semis twice-to-beat bonus.
Letran built a 42-25 lead after the first half but SSC-R poured 27 points in the third period to cut down its deficit to 59-52 heading into the payoff period.
The Knights were able to counter at the start of the fourth to build enough cushion for the win. Letran limited the Stags to only nine points in the final 10 minutes of the ballgame.
SSC-R dropped to 4-12 win-loss record.
Michael Calisaan had 19 points, Regile Ilagan added 12 markers while Jesse Sumoda chipped in 12 in a lost cause for the Stags.
Letran (79) --- Muyang 15, Batiller 15, Galvelo 14, Fajarito 11, Ambohot 8, Calvo 7, Quinto 4, Celis 3, Yu 2, Taladua 0, Balagasay 0, Banez 0, Agbong 0, Mandreza 0.
SSC-R (61) --- Calisaan 16, Ilagan 13, Sumoda 12, Bulanadi 7, Capobres 7, Dela Cruz 4, Valdez 2, Calma 0, Desoyo 0, Villapando 0, Are 0, Baytan 0.
Quarterscores: 19-10, 42-25, 59-52, 79-61.
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