PICKING up steam late in the first round of the NCAA Season 93, Letran targets its fourth straight victory when it takes on rival San Sebastian as part of another Tuesday triple-header at the Filoil Flying V Center.
The match-up between the two streaking squads is the main attraction of the game day, which will also feature the clash between two struggling teams in Arellano (2-4) and Perpetual Help (2-4), and the battle between Jose Rizal University (2-3) and Emilio Aguinaldo College (3-3).
After a slow start to the season, the Knights have finally gained traction in their campaign thanks to the cohesive play of their stars and some key contributions from the bench.
Guys like Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto, JP Calvo and Jerrick Balanza are all playing as expected but the rest of the squad have stepped up and turned the Knights into a much more lethal team.
In dire need of help after falling 1-3 to start the season, coach Jeff Napa has seen contributions from almost everyone, whether it be in the form of Jeo Ambohot’s dominant inside presence or the hustle plays of Jeremiah Taladua and King Caralipio.
With the Knights hitting form at the right time, moving up to solo third place with a 4-3 record, teams are starting to take notice.
“Yung Letran, maalakas sila. Malaki, all-Filipino and their key players are now starting to perform. It will be a good game dahil maganda rin ang nilalaro ng mga bata ko,” said Stags head coach Egay Macaraya who has some ax to grind against these Knights.
“Nung panahon ko yung Letran talaga ang karibal namin. Nakadalawa na sila sa amin last year, hindi pa kami nananalo sa kanila. Hopefully, if we play like this may chance kami,” he added.
Starting with a 1-3 slate like the Knights, the Stags are also beginning to pick up steam after racking up back-to-back wins, their first for the season.
Just last game, the Stags posted the largest scoring output of the season after clobbering College of St. Benilde, 101-71. That hot streak is something that Macaraya hopes to sustain if they want to rain on Letran’s parade.
“Napakaganda ng shooting namin. I think it’s the thing that works for us right now,” said Macaraya who’s seen valuable contributions from Michael Calisaan, Alfren Gayosa and Allyn Bulanadi.
“We have a chance if we keep playing this way. “