NCAA 95: Squires breathe life into playoff hopes by bringing down Jr. Pirates

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 27, 2019 08:19 PM
Letran breathes life into playoff hopes by bringing down LPU
(Photo by Josh Albelda) (FILE PHOTO)

San Beda 13-1
Arellano 8-6
JRU 7-6
LPU 7-6
San Sebastian 7-6
Letran 7-7
Perpetual 5-7
Mapua 4-9
EAC 1-11

Colegio de San Juan de Letran is charging forward right into the thick of things in the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

The Squires pulled off their second upset in three days, this one a convincing 83-71 victory versus Lyceum of the Philippines University, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre.

Lenard Santiago outworked everybody else and wound up with a 24-point, 13-rebound double-double while Shawn Umali had his own six markers, 15 boards, seven assists, and three blocks.

The 6-foot-2 energizer forward did the most damage inside the last eight minutes, with all but three points in the 11-6 run that increased a four-point edge, 56-60, to a 71-62 lead.

Mac Guadana yet again pulled the Jr. Pirates within five, 69-74, with 2:18 left only to see Santiago, CJ Saure, and Joshua Ramirez keep them at bay once and for all.

Saure wound up with 12 points and six rebounds while Ramirez had 10 markers, four boards, and three assists to his name.

Shawn Argente also added 18 points as Letran powered right through erstwhile second-running LPU all the way to a 7-7 standing.

They remain behind five other teams, but they also remain in the thick of things with as many as eight teams vying for the last three playoff berths. "Sinasabi ko sa kanila, medyo alanganin na kami, pero one game at a time lang tayo. Kunin natin, lahat nang nakatalo sa atin, balikan natin," birthday boy head coach Raymond Valenzona said post-game as his team took down playoff hopefuls College of St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills and LPU in a span of three days.

On the other hand, the Jr. Pirates absorbed their third loss in a row and sixth overall in 13 games.

Starting the day in a share of second and then moving to solo second due to CSB-LSGH's loss earlier, they now find themselves in a four-team logjam for the third to sixth spots.

Pacing the boys from Cavite were Guadana and Barba, as always, with the former finishing 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals and the latter ending with 17 markers, nine boards, and two dimes.


LETRAN 83 - Santiago 24, Argente 18, Saure 12, Ramirez 10, Tolentino 8, Umali 6, Cabal 2, Romenez 2, Omega 1, Delas Alas 0, Tibayan 0, Flauta 0.

LPU 71 - Guadana 20, Barba 17, Panganiban 12, Dejelo 10, Omandac 7, Garro 2, Ragasa 2, Gudmalin 1, Garing 0, Montano 0, Gamlanga 0, Caduyac 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 20-12, 44-26, 56-47, 83-71.


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