A MASTERFUL game played by two of the top teams in the NCAA Season 94 was decided on a late-game review.
Letran finally scored a big win in the tournament – albeit it ended in a rather odd fashion – as it escaped Lyceum 80-79 on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Arena.
JC Marcelino tied the knot at 80 with a supposed three-pointer with 40.6 seconds remaining in the game. That would later be downgraded to a two-point basket upon review, which was done two empty possessions later and as the time ran out.
Bong Quinto scored 10 of his 20 points in the final six minutes of the fourth period, as the Knights erased a 10-point deficit to get the rather controversial win.
“Big win for us. Di ko na alam basta panalo kami, ganun lang kasimple yun. Credit sa mga players especially si Bong. Kahit foul trouble siya, pinakita niya composure niya,” said Letran head coach Jeff Napa.
“Good thing yung mga binubunot ko, sila (Jeremiah) Taladua at (Bonbon) Batiller, binibigay nila yung little things,” he added.
It was a game of runs for both squads with the Pirates looking to blow out the Knights early as they built a 66-56 lead late in the third period.
But JP Calvo and Larry Muyang carried the fort for the Knights and kept them afloat just in time for Quinto to comeback and power the Knights’ comeback.
Quinto scored the final seven points of the Knights, including a three-point play with 2:22 left in the game which gave the Knights the lead for good, 78-76.
Muyang finished with 23 points on 11-12 shooting alongside 16 rebounds and four blocks to lead the Knights who improved to 11-4.
Quinto added seven boards, four assists and a steal to his 20 point output, as Calvo finished with 18 points and six assists.
Mike Nzeusseu led the Pirates with 25 points as CJ Perez added 16 but was kept scoreless in the second half as the Pirates dropped to second place for the first time in two years with a 14-2 record.
Coach Topex Robinson later bared that they won’t be pursuing a protest.
LETRAN 80 – Muyang 23, Quinto 20, Calvo 18, Ambohot 6, Fajarito 4, Batiller 3, Galvelo 3, Celis 2, Taladua 1, Yu 0, Balagasay 0
LPU 79 – Nzeusseu 25, Perez 16, Marcelino JC 9, Pretta 8, Marcelino JV 7, Ayaay 5, Caduyac 4, Santos 3, Ibanez 2, Serrano 0, Valdez 0, Yong 0
QUARTERS: 18-21, 44-48, 64-68, 80-79