THE key to Letran’s success is getting production outside of top stars Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto and Jerrick Balanza.
And if the Knights’ 83-80 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals was any indication, then they could be on to bigger things this year.
The Knights got big games from unheralded transferees Jeo Ambohot and Jeremiah Taladua as they stormed back from a 16-point first quarter deficit to claim their first win in the NCAA Season 93.
The pair powered the Knights’ comeback bid in the second quarter, combining for 21 points during that stretch to put the team in a good position to steal the win in the end game.
Ambohot, who finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, said it’s just a matter of making up for the losses of veterans Jom Sollano and Felix Apreku – two players who were integral in Letran’s championship run in 2015.
“Kailangan ko rin punan yung pagkawala ni Jom Sollano, Felix Apreku, kasi yun yung mga bigs namin dati kaya kailangan talagang punan at mag step-up talaga,” said Ambohot.
“Go hard. Saka focus sa game, tulad nila Jom. Kailangan kong palitan yung pagkawala nila. Mahirap kasi malaki nawala sa amin. May pressure din ako kasi yung mga kalaban namin may import tapos kami wala. Parang dehado kami, pero lalaban talaga kami,” he added.
The defensive minded Taladua on the other hand, was just as happy to contribute on other facets of the game other than his defense.
The transferee out of Lyceum scored all of his 14 points in the second quarter, displaying an aggressiveness on offense that wasn’t seen from him in the past, while still playing tenacious defense on the other end.
“Tiniyaga lang namin talaga yun. Yung mga kakampi ko rin kasi, confident din. Tinry ko magka-offense para makatulong sa team,” he said.
Di naman talaga namin tinitignan yung offense. Ang focus ko talaga ay yung energy namin on defense. Parang yung offense sa akin, talagang bonus na lang. Yung defense dun ako kumukuha ng energy eh,” Taladua added.
Though Letran wasn’t initially their first choice, the pair vows they will give their all for the school that has given them the opportunity to flourish this season.
“Malaking bagay sa akin yun, kasi Letran, kilalang kilala yan e. Kaya kahit anong mangyari, lalaban at lalaban ako para sa Letran. Binigyan ako nila coach Jeff ng confidence kaya gagawin ko lahat para makatulong sa team,” Taladua said.
Ambohot couldn’t agree more.
“Letran yan eh. Letran tayo, lalaban ng lalaban. Papakilala tayo, sarili nating sikap,” he said.