Coach Jeff Napa never expected easy outing against Generals, lauds Knights for playing tough to get first win

LETRAN had to bleed for its first win and Knights coach Jeff Napa was not surprised.

The Knights almost blew an 11-point lead, but recovered just in time to eke out a 76-72 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College in the NCAA on Tuesday at the San Juan Arena.

Napa was pleased with how the Knights handled the pressure, noting that he never expected an easy outing against the Generals even as they entered the game as overwhelming favorites.

“Payo ko sa ibang makakalaban ng EAC, maghanda rin sila kasi hindi nila pwede i-take for granted ang EAC,” said Napa.

“Malakas naman talaga ang EAC, na-take for granted lang ng mga teams. Kaya nga sabi ko nung press conference,  malakas lahat ng teams kasi pare-parehas lang naman yang nagpe-prepare.” 

It was a big confidence booster for Letran, which started the tournament with a loss to powerhouse San Beda.

“A win is a win. Although it’s an ugly win. I give credit sa boys because they refused to lose hanggang sa dulo,” said Napa as Letran bounced back from its opening-day loss to rival San Beda. 

“At least naisip nila na kailangan pa rin pala dumepensa.”

Rey Nambatac also atoned for a disappointing first game against San Beda when he left early due to cramps. He played solid against EAC, firing 21 of his career high 33 points in the first half.

“Masaya ako kasi tingin ko malaki na-contribute ko sa team lalo na nanalo kami,” said Nambatac.

“Long way to go. Marami pang games na malalaruan. So ito yung mga games na kumbaga motivation sa amin. Yung mga lapses namin sa first game kahit papano natama namin ngayon."

 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros