LETRAN rode another Kevin Alas scoring spree as it clobbered College of St. Benilde, 97-83, on Monday night in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
The fourth-year guard established a new career and league-high with 35 points as the Knights kept their Final Four hopes alive with their eight win in 14 games, moving a half-game behind third-placers Jose Rizal University and University of Perpetual Help.
“We’re still breathing,” said Louie Alas, the Knights’ coach and Kevin’s father.
The younger Alas’ output was the highest for a Knight since RJ Jazul exploded for 37 points also against St. Benilde in 2008.
Alas, who reached the 30-point plateau for the second straight time and fourth overall this season, shot 13-of-23 from the field and added five boards, five assists, and two steals for the Knights, who dealt the Blazers their 10th loss in 14 games.
“Motivation ko talaga maging consistent,” the 20-year-old Alas said. “Yung kasi ang pinakamahirap gawin ng isang player.”
With Alas heating up early with 12 first-quarter points, the Knights established a nine-point lead against the listless Blazers at the end of the period, with the cushion ballooning to 17 at the half and to 20 entering the fourth.
The Blazers, who are virtually eliminated from playoff contention, failed to find any significant contribution from any player other than Carlo Lastimosa.
CSJL (97) – K. Alas 35, Cortes 13, Cruz 12, Almazan 9, Lituania 7, J. Alas 7, Racal 6, Gabawan 6, Belorio 2, Luib 0, Olotu 0, Pantin 0, Gabriel 0, Almario 0, Cudal 0
CSB (83) – Lastimosa 23, Tolentino 10, Taha 9, Deles 9, Romero 8, Altamirano 7, Bartolo 6, Grey 4, Carlos 3, Maconocido 2, Dela Paz 2, Sinco 0, Tan 0, Ongteco 0, Garcia 0
Quarterscores: 27-18, 50-34, 71-51, 97-83