Letran shocks former coach Ayo, UST

Letran shocks former coach Ayo, UST

Bong Quinto's 22 points paced Letran as the team dealt its former coach a loss in his UST debut. FilOil Flying V Sports

By Dugout Philippines

SAN JUAN, MM--The reinforced Letran Knights turned back a hard-fighting UST squad, 95-90, in the Dominican Derby of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.

Despite fielding a team whose tallest player stands at 6’4”, the young Growling Tigers led, 40-38, at the half time break behind the strong game of junior Zach Huang who scored 13 points. In the third period, Letran’s Bong Quinto started the rally that saw the Knights jump to a 61-48 lead with 4:08 left in the third period.

The Growling Tigers, behind the three-point shooting of Renzo Subido and former Arellano Chief Kenneth Zamora, trimmed the deficit to 71-69, following a lay-up by Marvin Lee, and time down to 6:53 in the game.

But the new additions of Letran – Larry Muyang and Christian Fajarito – held firm in the middle and scored 12 of the last points to repulse the hard-fighting Tigers.

“It was a total team effort, our veterans in Bong Quinto and JP Calvo guided the new players and all of the new ones stepped up,” noted third year Letran head coach Jeff Napa.

“Ngayon ko lang nakita si Bong na relaxed nung huling parte ng laro,” added Napa. “Last year, iba’t ibang puwesto linalaro niya tapos lawit pa dila niya. Nagulat nga ako na 24 minutes lang ang linaro niya.”

“Sobrang dali kasi nandiyan na si Larry, Christian, Bonbon,” admitted Quinto who led Letran with 22 points. “Malaking tulong para sa aming mga veterans.”

Larry Muyang, who transferred from La Salle scored 17 points and Christian Fajarito chipped in 12 points. Bonbon Battiler added six points.

Napa also expressed confidence that his line-up will allow him to compete. “Every year naman meron pressure kahit sino nasa team namin,” he said. “Pero ngayon, meron kaming tulong at bench. Meron kami puwedeng i-rotate at tumulong sa frontline. Regulars Christian Balagasay and Gilas Cadet Jeo Ambohot saw sparing playing time.

Napa also added that he was able to bring in some of the Chiang Kai Shek Blue Dragons’ stars in Jason Celis, EJ Agbong, and Sham Ibanes.

On his part, first year UST coach Aldin Ayo also pronounced himself. “Offensively, we were good, but kulang pa sa execution. If there is anything we need to work on it’s our defense. Especially nung huli nakikipagpalitan lang kami ng score ng Letran.”

Regie Boy Basibas led UST with 16 points while a resurgent Zach Huang added 15. Returning Renzo Subido fired 14 points including two long treys.

The Scores:

LETRAN 95 — Quinto 22, Muyang 17, Balanza 17, Fajarito 12, Calvo 6, Batiller 6, Balagasay 4, Celis 4, Agbong 3, Taladua 2, Mandreza 2, Yu 0, Ibanes 0, Ambohot 0, Galvelo 0.

UST 90 — Basibas 16, Huang 15, Subido 14, Zamora 13, Lee 8, Agustin 8, Cansino 5, Caunan 4, Bataller 3, Sta. Ana 2, Marcos 2.

Quarters: 14-15, 40-38, 67-56, 95-90.

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