Mark Cruz leads way as Knights rout Blazers to give coach Aldin Ayo winning debut in NCAA
Mark Cruz and the Knights, quarterfinalists in a preseason tournament, are off to a fine start in NCAA Season 91. Czeasar Dancel

LETRAN used its pressure defense to beat College of Saint Benilde, 82-53, on Tuesday in the NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Mark Cruz had 16 points while Bong Quinto scored 14 for the Knights, who took charge early with seven of their 13 steals in the first half.

“We won it the hard way,” said Letran coach Aldin Ayo, who won his first NCAA game as head coach.

“Ayaw namin mag-relax. Before the game, I told the guys that after this game, gusto ko mapagod kayo. ’Yun lang ang puhunan namin.”

Rey Nambatac had 11 points and nine rebounds, while Jomari Sollano had 10 markers for Letran, which was coming off a quarterfinal finish in the Filoil preseason tournament.

Jonathan Grey led CSB with 16 points but the Blazers committed 33 turnovers.

The scores:

Letran (82)—Cruz 16, Quinto 14, Nambatac 11, Sollano 10, Balanza 7, Racal 6, Balagasay 5, Calvo 5, Apreku 4, Dela Pena 4, Luib 0.

CSB (53)—Grey 16, J.J. Domingo 10, Ongteco 8, Saavedra 7, Nayve 5, Jonson 4, Sta. Maria 2, Deles 1, Castor 0, Fajarito 0.

Quarterscores: 20-10; 37-24; 58-37; 82-53.


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