LETRAN shock troopers Jonathan Belorio and Carlo Lituania, two players who provided the Knights an unlikely boost in Game Two of the NCAA men’s basketball Finals, hope to reprise their outstanding performances as they seek to give the school its first championship in seven years Friday against the San Beda Red Lions.
Belorio, who made all his three-point attempts on the way to a game- and season-high 15 points and 10 rebounds in Game Two, is looking to continue contributing ample support to the Knights’ title cause.
“Pag pine-pressure sila Kevin (Alas) at Mark (Cruz), kailangan talaga mag-step-up,” Belorio said after the Knights’ practice on Thursday, less than 24 hours before they take on the Red Lions for one last time.
And the 23-year-old slotman from Zamboanga seems to be ready for the deciding Game Three after he finished a personal shooting drill with assistant coach Chris Reyes by making five straight three-pointers.
The 6-foot-2 Belorio said he has been working on his outside shooting since the start of the season in the hope of providing Letran another scoring option.
“Mas maraming malaki sa akin sa liga kaya ginawa ko talaga siyang (shooting) advatange.
“Pero focus ko pa rin depensa,” added Belorio, one of the league’s top shot-blocking artists.
Scoreless in the series opener, Lituania, came up with 11 points, including nine in the second quarter, in just 13 minutes off the bench in Game Two.
Lituania said he got motivated when Raymond Almazan was the only player to score off the bench in Game 1.
“Kaya naging challenge sa akin na mag-contribute.”
And the 24-year-old substitute combo guard aims to sustain his hot streak in the win-or-go-home match with the Red Lions, his last in a Knights’ uniform.
“(Alam ko) hindi na ganun kadali ang depensa sa akin, pero sana ganun pa rin maging performance ko.
“Mas lumaki pa nga kumpiyansa ko ngayon eh,” said Lituania, one of three graduating Letran players.