JAMIL Gabawan hit the go-ahead basket to help Letran survive St. Clare College, 83-79, on Wednesday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
A deflection off Rey Nambatac landed straight to Gabawan, who hit a basket with 13 seconds to play to break a 79-all deadlock.
“Napakagandang play,” said Gabawan, smiling.
Letran now has an even 2-2 win-loss card to grab fourth spot in Group B, with Far Eastern University and San Beda occupying the top spot with a 5-0 card.
St. Clare took a 75-73 lead on a Jason Ibay free throw, but Gabawan leveled the score with a jumper with 1:09 left.
Although it was too close for comfort, Letran coach Caloy Garcia said they could learn a lot from such games.
“We know that St. Clare is a strong team because they always end up in the finals of the Naascu. But we are also here to learn and make the most out of the opportunity. Gusto ko sila matuto,” said Garcia.
Mark Cruz had 19 points, while Nambatac added 15 markers. Gabawan chipped in eight points for the Knights.
Marte Gil added 18 points for the Saints, who now hold a 1-4 win-loss card.
Letran (83) – Cruz 19, Nambatac 15, Gabawan 8, Quinto 8, Publico 8, Ruaya 5, Apreku 5, Singontiko 5, Castro 4, Calvo 4, Luib 2, Sumalakay 0, Saldua 0, Po 0.
St. Clare (79) – Gil 18, Ibay 15, Jamito 12, Fabien 10, Bolos 8, Ibarra 5, Lunor 5, Managuelod 5, Acebron 3, Fongue 0, Dulalia 0.
Quarterscores: 28-17; 41-37; 59-54; 83-79.