LETRAN survived Perpetual Help’s late fightback to pull off a 62-57 victory in the senior’s basketball tournament of the NCAA Season 88 at The Arena in San Juan on Monday night.
Down by 18 points, 13-31, with less than two minutes left in the first half, the Altas rose from the grave behind the hot hands of Jett Vidal and wrested the upperhand 47-42, going to the final period.
But Kevin Alas and Carlo Lituania hit back-to-back baskets from beyond the arc to snatch the lead back for the Knights, 48-47. Another six-point spurt late in the final period wrapped up the Knights' sixth win in 11 outings.
“Grabe kasi nilaro ng mga players sa first half,” said Letran coach Louie Alas. “Yun ang pinaka-magandang depensa namin this season. Alam ko at the back of my mind na bababa [ang intensity] sa second half.
“Buti naka back-to-back three points kami sa fourth quarter. Sabi ko lang sa kanila mag-focus lang."
Vidal, the only Altas player to score in the first quarter, came away with 21 points including 16 in the third where he hit four three-pointers. Omorogbe chipped in 12 markers and 11 boards for Perpetual Help, which slid to fourth spot with 7-4 (win-loss).
Letran (62) -- Cruz 13, Alas, K. 13, Lituania 11, Cortes 10, Racal 8, Almazan 4, Luib 3, Belorio 0, Alas, J. 0, Pantin 0
Perpetual Help (57) -- Vidal 21, Omorogbe 12, Allen 7, Thompson 5, Paulino 5, Alano 5, Babayemi 2, Arboleda 0, Elopre 0, Jolangcob 0
Quarterscores: 16-2, 31-19, 42-47, 62-57