After opening the season with a loss, the Letran Knights have bounced back to string up five straight wins. Their latest win comes at the expense of the young Mapua Cardinals. They beat Mapua 89-84 to rise up to 5-1. Mapua is still winless in five games.
The Knights relied on big man Larry Muyang to carry them for stretches in the game. He led the team with 24 points and nine rebounds. Bonbon Batiller backed him up with 15 points, including the dagger three that put the game away. Christin Bunag had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Mapua.
The Cardinals, desperate for a win played hard to keep in step with the Knights for most of the game. Even with Muyang’s 14-point explosion in the third period, Mapua was able to stay within six heading into the final period. Letran tried to pull away midway through the fourth as Fran Yu and Jerrick Balanza led the team to an 11-point lead.
Mapua was able to chip away at that lead and got to within two points off a Bunag make with 33 seconds left in the game. That was when Batiller struck. The explosive guard nailed a triple from the top of the key to secure the win in the final moments of the game.
In the second game of the day, the Perpetual Altas snapped their losing streak with a clutch win over the Arellano Chiefs. Perpetual got the 75-73 win off a clutch performance on both ends of the floor. They get their second win in five games while Arellano absorbs their fourth loss in the same number of games.
With six seconds left in the game, Charcos was being harassed in the back court by the Arellano defense. He used a burst of speed to blow by two defenders and get to the lane. Charcos stopped a step inside the paint and lofted a floater that found the bottom of the net with three seconds left in the game.
The Chiefs still had enough time to find an equalizer. The ball was inbounded to Gelo Sablan who quickly shovelled a pass to Rence Alcoriza. The Chiefs guard went up for a jumper but his shot was blocked by Kim Aurin to end the game.
Aurin had a big game with 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Ben Adamos had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Charcos added 15 points and five assists. Justin Arana led Arellano with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
In the final game of the day, the Benilde Blazers escaped fellow contender San Sebastian Golden Stags, 77-72 to stay undefeated in Season 95. The Stags fall to 2-3 with their third straight loss.
With Justin Gutang nursing an injury, the Blazers leaned on their back court to get the win. Unique Naboa led the Blazers with 15 points while James Pasturan added 12. Chris Flores, Clement Leutcheu and Yankie Haruna all scored in double-figures in a balanced scoring effort from the team. RK Ilagan has 24 points in the losing effort.
With the Stags clinging to a two-point lead in the minute and a half of the game. Pasturan brought the ball down, used a Leutcheu scree and found space on the left wing. He calmly rose up for a three-pointer to give the Blazers the lead. Benilde wouldn’t relinquish that lead all the way to the final buzzer.
NCAA File Photo