Header Ads Widget

Letran rallies to stun Arellano

Ric Arlos

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Letran fought back from a late 11-point deficit to take down Arellano, 87-81, in the nightcap of a big NCAA Friday fight card at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The Knights, who trailed for most of the game, were down, 65-76, with 5:45 remaining, but a 14-0 run in barely three minutes highlighted by back-to-back triples from Mark Cruz and the go-ahead and-one by Felix Apreku put them up, 79-76, with 2:11 left.

Zach Nicholls kept the Chiefs in the game with an equalizing triple with 1:53 left that forced a 79-all deadlock.

They had a chance to retake the lead after Cruz misfired a floater in the next play, but Dioncee Holts missed an inside shot while his follow-up was blocked.

McJour Luib gave Letran the lead anew after making two free throws with 57.2 seconds to go for an 81-79 count.

Jio Jalalon lost the ball in the next play, and Cruz scored two more charities to stretch the lead to four with 38.3 seconds left.

Donald Gumaru muffed a triple in the next play, and Cruz sank two more from the 15-foot line to put the result out of doubt.

Dioncee Holts opted to go on a layup with 8.4 seconds remaining to cut the lead to four, but Cruz nailed another pair of free throws for the final count.

Rey Nambatac had a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds along with two assists and two steals, while Cruz finished with 20 markers, 12 coming in the final 4:01 of the game, four boards, and four dimes for the Knights, who once again tied the San Beda Red Lions at the top of the team standings at 12-4.

Holts had 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block for the Chiefs, which fell to a three-way tie with the JRU Heavy Bombers and the Mapua Cardinals for fourth place at 10-6.

Box Scores:

Letran 87-Nambatac 21, Cruz 20, Racal 17, Sollano 10, Calvo 9, Publico 4, Apreku 3, Luib 2, Balagasay 1, Quinto 0, Balanza 0, Gedaria 0

Arellano 81-Holts 16, Jalalon 14, Enriquez 14, Zamora 12, Meca 8, Nicholls 6, Gumaru 5, Salado 2, Cadavis 2, Bangga 2, Ortega 0, Capara 0

Quarterscores: 13-21, 38-46, 63-69, 87-81

Follow the writer on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno