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Knights, Stags win

  • Written by Theodore P. Jurado
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 205

Games today:

(Filoil Flying V Centre)

12 noon --St. Benilde vs. Lyceum (S)

2 p.m. --Mapua vs. Perpetual Help (S)

4 p.m. --San Beda  vs. Arellano (S)

AFTER a failed title-retention campaign, coach Jeff Napa vowed a stronger Letran team next season.

The Knights savaged some measure of pride by  nipping Emilio Aguinaldo College, 93-87, in overtime yesterday in the NCAA seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
   
“The season as a whole, frustrated ako siyempre,” said Napa, who took over from Aldin Ayo, who moved over to greener pastures in the off-season.
   
“Pero yung frustration ko ngayon gagamitin ko para sa next year. Kung sino man ang mga players ko for next year, will become ready and prepared. Babalik kami na mas malakas.”
   
The first reigning titlist to miss the Final Four since the same Letran team also got eliminated in 2000 after winning the title the previous year, the Knights' ended the season with nine wins and the same number of defeats.
   
Aside from Ayo, Letran has also sorely missed Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal, key players from last season's championship run, as it struggled on the different system Napa, a college coach neophyte, initiated for the team.
     
Also ending its season on a high note is San Sebastian, the second round's second-best team behind Arellano University.
   
The Stags, who will miss the Final Four for the third straight season, routed Jose Rizal University, 85-58, to finish their campaign with a 8-10 record.
   
The Knights lost an 11-point lead, 77-66 and a 80-76 buffer in the final 10.1 seconds of regulation that allowed the Generals to force OT.
   
But JP Calvo took charge, scoring seven points in the extra session to help Letran prevail.
   
Jom Sollano had 21 points and 12 rebounds in his swan song for the Knights, who will also lose key stalwarts McJour Luib and Felix Apreku to graduation.
 
It might be a case of too late the hero, but San Sebastian was superb in the second round, winning seven of nine matches, including stunning wins against Final Four-bound teams San Beda, Mapua and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta.
   
Still, coach Egay Macaraya, who took over the Stags from Rodney Santos last summer, has still something to be satisfied.
 
The scores:
   
First game
   
SSC-R (85) -- Bulanadi 14, Calisaan 13, Costelo 13, Capobres 12, Fabian 7, Mercado 6, Gayosa 5, David 4, Sera Josef 4, Ilagan 3, Baetiong 2, Valdez 1, Calma 1, Quipse 0.
   
JRU (58)  -- Pontejos 14, Poutouochi 10, Cruz 9, Teodoro 8, Lasquety 6, Dela Paz 5, Grospe 4, Caballero 1, Dela Virgen 1, Astilla 0, Dada 0, Mendoza 0, Salaveria 0.
   
Quarterscores: 21-17, 42-29, 63-45, 85-58
   
Second game
   
CSJL (93) -- Sollano 21, Nambatac 15, Quinto 12, Balanza 11, Calvo 11, Apreku 8, Bernabe 5, Ambohot 4, Balagasay 4, Dela Peña 2, Luib 0.
   
EAC (87) -- Hamadou Laminou 23, Onwubere 23, Munsayac 12, King 9, Serrano 6, Morada 5, Guzman 3, Pascua 3, Diego 2, Neri 1, Aguas 0, Corilla 0.
   
Quarterscores: 17-14, 33-35, 56-54, 82-82, 93-87.