La Salle-Lipa stifles Letran-Bataan late to bag second NBTC Division 2 crown in three years
Ian Abila had nine points and 18 rebounds to help La Salle-Lipa secure the NBTC Division 2 title. Marlo Cueto

LA Salle Lipa defeated Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Bataan, 49-44, on Friday to rule the 2018 Exped SM-NBTC Division 2 National Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Matthew Virtucio had 15 points, while Dave Lupac had 10 points and six rebounds for the Green Chevrons, who won the NBTC Division 2 crown for the second time in three years.

Ian Abila had nine points and 18 rebounds to capture the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

The Green Chevrons won after overcoming an 11-point deficit against the Squires.

“At the end of the day, it’s God’s gift,” said La Salle Lipa coach J-Rex Atienza. “You see a struggle at the early part of the game but still, I like our chances as long as we won’t be down big.”

“Because of the experience, we can recover. It’s really just as simple as God given,” said Atienza.

Kevin Raymundo, son of former Letran Knight Kerby Raymundo, had 13 points, while Isaiah De Leon chipped in 11 points, six rebounds, and two blocks.

Letran-Bataan was up, 40-35, in the fourth but scored only one field goal after that. Virtucio converted a go-ahead three to give the Green Chevrons the 41-40 lead. Lupac made it a five-point gap with a triple.

After losing to FilAm Sports USA in the first round, La Salle Lipa beat Bacolod Tay Tung High School and St. Benilde International School Calamba to arrange a finals match with Letran Bataan.

Abila, Raphael Dimayuga, Julius Garcia of Letran Bataan and James Barrera of Bacolod Tay Tung High School were named to the Mythical Five, while Abila also also won the Best Defensive Player.

The scores:

DLSL 49 - Virtucio 15, Lupac 10, Abila 9, Javier 7, Platon 5, Dimayuga 2, Larosa 1, Aranda 0, Virrey 0, Cutanda 0, Nario 0, Baldovino 0.

CSJL-Bataan 44 - Raymundo 13, De Leon 11, Tolentino 7, Llamzon 6, Santos 4, Handugan 0, Navarro 0.

Quarterscores: 13-14; 18-25; 31-33; 49-44.

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