Ryan Costelo nails go-ahead basket as San Sebastian stuns erstwhile solo leader Letran
Ryan Costelo helps the Stags score only their third victory in 10 outings. Dante Peralta

RYAN Costelo scored a tough-layup with 9.4 seconds to play as San Sebastian came away with an 89-87 victory over erstwhile solo league-leader Letran on Tuesday in the NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Costelo finished with 13 points, converting a left-handed shot over Letran’s Kevin Racal and Jomari Sollano for an 87-86 lead that turned out to be the winning basket for the Stags, who won for only the third time in 10 games.

Rey Nambatac missed his attempt from the 3-point line at the buzzer as the Knights suffered their second loss in 10 games.

The loss allowed San Beda, which earlier defeated lowly EAC, to gain a share of the lead.

Michael Calisaan led the Stags with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

The Stags avenged their first round loss to the Knights in a game that saw them squander a 13-point fourth quarter lead and bow, 76-82, on July 21.

This time, San Sebastian got an 81-79 lead on a 15-2 run, before Costelo scored that basket to preserve the win after Letran momentarily took an 87-86 advantage on a Kevin Racal basket with 16.9 seconds to play.

“Motivation ko sa kanila, we had that game (in the first round),” said San Sebastian coach Rodney Santos. “Our battle cry was ‘43 turnovers, 42 turnovers points. Never again.’”

“Dinikdik ko sa kanila na have some pride naman dahil panalo na tayo doon at patunayan natin ngayon na kaya nating manalo,” said Santos.

Jamil Ortouste had 19 points while Bradwyn Guinto, selected recently by Mahindra in the PBA draft on Sunday, added 15 points and 15 rebounds for San Sebastian.

Mark Cruz had 30 points for Letran two days after being taken by Star in the PBA draft. Trailing 82-86 San Sebastian got a boost when Cruz completed a three-point play before Racal hit a follow-up for an 87-86 lead.

The scores:

San Sebastian (89)—Calisaan 27, Ortouste 19, Guinto 15, Costelo 13, Fabian 7, Bulanadi 7, Sibal 1, Bragais 0, Santos 0, Pretta 0, Vera 0, Capobres 0.

Letran (87)—Cruz 30, Nambatac 12, Racal 12, Sollano 9, Quinto 8, Luib 5, Balanza 4, Balagasay 4, Apreku 2, Calvo 0.

Quarterscores: 15-22; 39-41; 63-62; 89-87.

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