NCAA 95: Letran stamps class on Mapua to stretch streak to five

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 30, 2019 02:06 PM
Letran stamps class on Mapua to stretch streak to five
Letran dug deep and stood strong in the face of a late rally by Intramuros rival Mapua (FILE PHOTO)

Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s stampede after a loss to open the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament continued after charging through Mapua University, 89-84, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Knights found themselves in a close contest in the season’s first Battle of Intramuros as the young Cardinals were giving them all they can handle. "Masaya kami, pero it's a bad game (for us). I'm still happy with the win," Bonnie Tan said post-game, still looking for his first convincing victory as the blue and red's head coach.

After Noah Lugo and Warren Bonifacio pulled Mapua within three, 63-66, inside the last nine minutes, Fran Yu and Jerrick Balanza took over and teamed up for all but three points in a 12-4 rush that re-increased the Letran lead to 78-67 with under five minutes remaining.

Still, the Cardinals didn’t quit just yet as Christian Bunag shot them to just down two, 84-86, with 33.9 ticks to go.

Only, with time winding down on the Knights' shot clock, Bonbon Batiller hit a booming triple from the top of the key to send them away once and for all, seizing for the Knights their fifth win in a row.

Batiller wound up with 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists while Balanza and Yu chipped in 11 and eight markers, respectively.

Man in the middle Larry Muyang also imposed his will for the second straight game, pounding in 24 points and nine rebounds in this one.

For Mapua, Bunag fronted the effort with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double while Victoria contributed 15 markers, six boards, four asssists, and three steals. With their rally falling short, they remain winless in five games.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 89 - Muyang 24, Batiller 15, Ambohot 14, Balanza 11, Yu 8, Ular 6, Sangalang 4, Olivario 3, Mina 2, Javillonar 2, Caralipio 0, Reyson 0

MAPUA 84 - Bunag 17, Victoria 15, Lugo 12, Bonifacio 10, Gamboa 9, Salenga 6, Gonzales 5, Hernandez 5, Nieles 3, Garcia 2, Serrano 0, Nocum 0, Jabel 0

QUARTER SCORES: 19-16, 40-39, 66-60, 89-84

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