Ten days layoff period, no problem as the Letran Knights subdued NCAA Season 91 Men’s Basketball Division archrival San Beda Red Lions, 93-80, to remain unbeaten on Thursday, at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan.
The 13-point landslide victory cleared the way for Letran to climb another level and share the 3-0 top spot with another undefeated contender this season, the Perpetual Help Altas.
Coach Aldin Ayo’s “scattered” defense system was seen once again in action which trapped the Mendiola-based Red Lions on early quarter bait. Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac took charge in the middle periods, both combined fiery treys midway before San Beda broke out of the cage.
Letran enjoyed as much as 21-point cushion more than once during the entire combat, one of which is a 52-31 gap that was powered by pint-sized guard Cruz and Nambatac on the second and third cantos.
The Letran advantage grew into a 67-46 bubble, thanks to Mark Cruz’s two triples just within a minute before he seated out for good due to sudden cramps followed by Nambatac’s departure after being fouled out.
Cruz and Nambatac’s farewell gave the Red Lions a light at the end of the tunnel, but then it was Kevin Racal’s turn to pile more numbers for the Knights as he drew the 8 points in the final frame that proved to be the final nails in the coffin.
Racal led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Mark Cruz with 16 hits, and Rey Nambatac finished with 13 markers for the Letran Knights, who was the first team to give San Beda a dose of defeat this season.
On the other hand, Ola Adeogun had 20 points, while Art Dela Cruz added 18 hits for the San Beda Red Lions, who went down on a 2-1 mark. Star point guard Baser Amer had contributed early 10 points for San Beda before he sat down as his shoulder injury resurfaced.
Letran Knights (93) – Racal 20, Cruz 16, Nambatac 13, Calvo 12, Sollano 10, Apreku 9, Luib 6, Quinto 5, Balanza 2, Balagasaay 0, Publico 0.
San Beda Red Lions (80) – Adeogun 20, Dela Cruz 18, Amer 10, Koga 7, Tongco 7, Tankoua 6, Cabanag 4, Mocon 4, Sorela 4, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0, Sedillo 0.