Letran secures top two playoff

Louie Sangalang of Letran College beats Toby Agustin of Mapua University for the rebound in their Season 98 NCAA basketball game yesterday. The Knights won, 74-58. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF NCAA

Games today:

(Filoil EcoOil Centre)

12 p.m. — San Sebastian vs EAC

3 p.m. — Arellano vs Saint Benilde

Defending champion Letran College secured a playoff for the top two spots after a 74-58 win over Mapua University yesterday in Season 98 National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

The Knights remain on top of the standings with a 13-4 win-loss record as they bounced back from a 91-77 loss to bitter rival San Beda University last Wednesday.

Letran now only needs to win against Jose Rizal University on 23 November to formally clinch a twice-to-beat advantage.

Paolo Javillonar’s jumper with eight minutes and 25 seconds in the second quarter allowed the Knights to go on a 10-0 run as they remained on the driver’s seat for the rest of the match.

Assistant coach Raymund Tiongco said the loss against the Red Lions made them adjust their passing as the semifinals draw near.

“We just adjusted from our last game against San Beda. We weren’t able to execute back then so our ball movement today was a lot better,” said Tiongco, who coached today’s games as head tactician Bonnie Tan was placed under health and safety protocols after testing positive for Covid-19.

“We were able to find open guys on the court.”

Louie Sangalang was at the frontline for Letran with 21 points, five rebounds and one assist while Fran Yu dropped 10 points, seven boards, three dimes, one steal and a block.

Paolo Hernandez had 13 points, five rebounds and one block as Mapua sank to a 6-11 card.

Meanwhile, San Beda repulsed Jose Rizal University, 70-61, in the second game to keep their twice-to-beat hopes alive.

The Red Lions leaned on the season-high production of Jacob Cortez, who dropped 15 points, four rebounds and two assists. James Kwekuteye drilled in 12 points and four boards.

The Scores:

First game
LETRAN (74) — Sangalang 21, Yu 10, Reyson 9, Caralipio 8, Javillonar 8, Ariar 6, Monje 4, Olivario 3, Guarino 3, Paraiso 2, Santos 0.
MAPUA (58) — Hernandez 13, Bonifacio 8, Pido 8, Nocum 6, Cuenco 5, Lacap 5, Soriano 4, Garcia 3, Salenga 3, Agustin 3, Mercado 0.
QUARTERS: 22-18, 46-32, 60-53, 74-58.

Second game
SAN BEDA (70) — Cortez 15, Kwekuteye 12, Alfaro 11, Bahio 10, Andrada 7, Sanchez 6, Payosing 5, Cuntapay 2, Visser 2, Cometa 0, Jopia 0, Tagala 0.
JRU (61) — Miranda 19, Medina 12, Dionisio 8, De los Santos 6, De la Rosa 6, Tan 6, Guiab 4, Sy 2, De Jesus 0, Arenal 0, Gonzales 0, Mercado 0.
QUARTERS: 24-15, 40-36, 53-56, 70-61.

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