LETRAN made St. Benilde’s brief stay in Intramuros as unpleasant as possible as it hacked out a tough, 64-60 victory in the NCAA Season 94 on Thursday.
The Knights certainly weren’t in the mood to be as giving hosts as they used their length and buff to slow the game down and grind out a hard-earned win over the promising Blazers.
It was the hosts’ stingy defense in the endgame which proved to be the difference as they kept the Blazers scoreless in the final three minutes and 27 seconds of the game.
Bong Quinto scored the go-ahead basket with 1:19 to go as he drained a tough fade away jumper over Justin Gutang.
The Blazers were pretty much in the game up until the end, particularly after JP Calvo missed two free throws. But they failed to capitalize on that as the Knights recovered the offensive rebound, leading two to foul shots from Jerrick Balanza.
The win allowed the Knights to improve to 3-1 while the Blazers dropped to 2-3.
“Big win for us talaga. CSB is a strong team, pinush kami sa limit. Good thing, yung character ng team, lumabas ulit. Bumalik kami sa strength kami na total team effort. Andun sila sa system na willing silang i-meet,” said Letran head coach Jeff Napa.
“Hindi bad start yun. Talagang CSB is a strong team. Meron kaming gustong i-prove sa season na to,” he added.
Quinto finished with 17 points and six rebounds while Christian Fajarito flexed his muscles in the second half against his former team, scoring all his 10 points in the final two quarters.
Larry Muyang also snagged a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.
Yankie Haruna paced the Blazers with 13 points and five boards while Clement Leutcheu added 10 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
The Blazers, as a team, struggled from the field, making just 18 of their 55 attempts, good for 32 percent.
LETRAN 64 – Quinto 17, Muyang 10, Fajarito 10, Batiller 8, Calvo 6, Yu 4, Balanza 2, Ambohot 2, Taladua 2, Mandreza 2, Celis 1, Balagasay 0, Agbong 0
CSB 60 – Haruna 13, Leutcheu 10, Gutang 8, Dixon 8, Naboa 5, Velasco 5, Young 4, Domingo 3, Pasturan 2, Carlos 2
Quarters: 13-17, 25-31, 43-44, 64-60