NCAA 95: Letran endures Ilagan onslaught to enter next phase of stepladder

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 05, 2019 06:01 PM
NCAA 95: Letran endures Ilagan onslaught to enter next phase
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s definitive depth was on full display, Tuesday at Cuneta Astrodome, as it overwhelmed San Sebastian College-Recoletos’ 1-2 punch of RK Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi for a 85-80 decision.

Six Knights were in double-digit scoring and everybody from Jerrick Balanza to Fran Yu and from Bonbon Batiller and Allen Mina did their part in propelling their side to the next round of the stepladder playoffs in the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament. "Isa lang masasabi ko - ayaw ng mga veteran ko na last game na nila," head coach Bonnie Tan said.

From a tight tally of 33-32 in their favor early in the second quarter, Letran rode an all-out attack at both ends for 11 unanswered points and a 43-32 lead.

RK Ilagan injected life into the Golden Stags, however, and shot them within 80-81 inside the last two minutes only to see the Knights’ defense focus all its efforts on him.

With that, Ilagan was forced into a backcourt violation and then out of the game due to cramps while at the other end, Fran Yu sealed the deal once and for all with a split from the stripe. "Yung players namin, gusto pa nila maglaro, gusto pa nila mag-practice pa bukas. Hindi sila bumigay sa magandang pinakita ng Baste," coach Bonnie said.

In the end, Yu had 10 points, seven rebounds, and two assists while Balanza had 15 markers, six boards, and four dimes.

Batiller and Mina then chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Larry Muyang and Ato Ular combined for 21 markers, seven boards, and four assists.

That balance proved to be more than enough for them to survive Ilagan's career-high 36-point eruption.

Letran charges into another knockout bout on Friday still at the same venue, that one up against second-seed Lyceum of the Philippines University.

For Baste, Ilagan also had six rebounds and three assists. Playing their last games in gold and red, Allyn Bulanadi had 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists while Alvin Capobres had five markers and three boards.

Despite the early exit, this finish is still an improvement from their ranking at no. 6 a year ago.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 85 - Balanza 15, Batiller 14, Mina 12, Muyang 11, Ular 10, Yu 10, Caralipio 9, Balagasay 4, Ambohot 0, Olivario 0, Reyson 0, Sangalang 0, Javillonar 0.

SAN SEBASTIAN 80 - Ilagan 36, Bulanadi 15, Villapando 8, Calahat 7, Capobres 5, Altamirano 5, Desoyo 2, Sumoda 1, Cosari 1, Calma 0, Isidro 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 23-20, 50-40, 69-59, 85-80.

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