LETRAN punished Emilio Aguinaldo College with its outside shooting as it emerged a 77-70 winner on Wednesday to keep its Final Four hopes alive in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
With the Generals testing their long-range accuracy by employing a zone defense most of the game, the Knights made them pay as they registered a fifth win in 12 games to continue their steady rise in the rankings.
Kevin Racal typified the hot shooting, firing six triples on the way to scoring a game-high 27 points for the Knights, who climbed to sixth spot in a tie with Lyceum.
“Talagang binibigay nila yung outside shot and K-Racs (Racal) is known to be a good shooter. Ang kagandahan, he was able to connect,” Knights coach Caloy Garcia said, referring to his do-it-all forward.
The Generals, still without injured Cameroonian slotman Cedric Happi, dropped a third straight match and ninth overall against three wins to get stuck in eighth spot.
Racal waxed hot early, knocking down all his four three-point attempts in the first half that enabled the Knights gain the upper hand after trailing by five at the end of the first quarter.
Jerald Serrano and Jan Jamon were also on target, combining for eight treys for the Generals, who managed to pull within 70-71 with less than three minutes remaining.
But Racal retaliated with back-to-back triples that proved to be the final nails in the Generals’ coffin.
CSJL 79 – Racal 27, Nambatac 15, Cruz 14, Gabawan 6, Singontiko 6, Saldua 3, Ruaya 3, Quinto 3, Tambeling 2, Calvo 0, Castro 0, Luib 0, Publico 0
EAC 70 – Serrano 17, Onwubere 15, Jamon 14, General 8, Tayongtong 6, Aguilar 4, Santos 4, Mejos 1, Saludo 1, King 0, Pascual 0, Arquero 0
Quarterscores: 16-21, 40-38, 54-51, 79-70