LETRAN refused to falter in the face of a fiery Emilio Aguinaldo College fightback as the Knights escaped with an 84-78 win to revitalize their Final Four bid in the NCAA Season 93 on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Bong Quinto put on a sizzling performance in the first half by pouring in 20 of his career-high 27 points as the Knights took a 50-34 lead at the half.
The Knights padded the lead to as many as 20 midway through the third period, following a JP Calvo fastbreak lay-up, before the Generals made things interesting.
The Generals were able to trim the lead to just four, 82-78, behind Juju Bautista and Francis Munsayac but the rally came a little too late as the Knights held on to the win.
The victory pushed the Knights at fourth with an 8-7 record, half a game behind Jose Rizal University.
"8-7 is 8-7. Di pa kami pumapasok ng Final Four. Main goal makapasok ng Final Four muna. Ngayon kasi medyo mabigat yung papasukin namin, nasa sa amin na ngayon kung paano ihahandle yun," said Letran head coach Jeff Napa.
It was a good bounce back from Letran after it absorbed its worst loss of the season last Tuesday at the hands of the hot shooting San Sebastian, 95-64.
But instead of being demoralized, the Knights showed great resolve in times of adversity, rebounding with a big start over a quality Generals squad.
"I still believe sa mga players ko na willing to come out strong despite sa worst loss na nakuha namin," Napa continued.
Rey Nambatac added 19 points, nine rebounds, and three assists while Calvo had an impressive line with 16 points, eight boards, three assists and two steals to backstop Quinto's career performance.
Sydney Onwubere paced the Generals with 25 points as Munsayac added 15 but that wasn't enough as they dropped to 6-8.
LETRAN 84 – Quinto 27, Nambatac 19, Calvo 16, Balanza 8, Gedaria 5, Vacaro 4, Balagasay 2, Taladua 2, Mandreza 1, Bernabe 0
EAC 78 – Onwubere 25, Munsayac 15, Bautista 10, Diego 10, Garcia 6, Bugarin 6, Mendoza I 2, Tampoc 2, Mendoza J 2, Pascua 0, Corilla 0, Neri 0
QUARTERSCORES: 23-15, 50-34, 72-58, 84-78