LETRAN STIFLES MAPUA TO CLAIM BACK-TO-BACK NCAA CROWNS
Letran Knights fended off the Mapua Cardinals to claim the back-to-back title in NCAA Season 97 while staying undefeated all throughout the season.
The Knights easily poured the first salvo in the first quarter to claim the momentum and Mapua could not keep up as Fran Yu, Jeo Ambohot, and Kurt Reyson rained three shots in the first quarter alone to end with 11 points advantage, 19-8.
But the Cardinals were not able to keep a step behind after falling short in the second quarter with a 16 points deficit as the Knights displayed a solid defense with Rhenz Abando blocking Arvin Gamboa at 4:49 minutes left in the shot clock.
The third quarter was no difference at all as the champions kept their advantage into two digits, 58-48, thanks to Abando commandeering the team with his 14 points followed by Ambohot’s 13 points.
Yu was unstoppable in the fourth quarter and went for a baseline drive with Louie Sangalang finishing the deed with a rebound put-back points in the paint at 6:49 minutes.
But Mapua was able to cut the deficit into five after three consecutive threes, 65-75 with two minutes left but little did they know that it would be their last point in Season 97 giving the Letran the victory.
“Of course, we’re very happy. Mahirap itong pandemic na liga coming from more than two years na bakante. I don’t know kung masasabi natin na mas masaya pero mas mahirap itong season na ito compared to last season,” coach Bonnie Tan said.
Letran 75 – Abando 14, Ambohot 13, Sangalang 11, Caralipio 9, Javillonar 8, Reyson 7, Yu 6, Paraiso 3, Mina 3, Olivario 1, Fajarito 0.
Mapua 65 – Hernandez 14, Nocum 14, Lacap 12, Gamboa 10, Pido 7, Bonifacio 6, Mercado 2, Agustin 0, Asuncion 0, Garcia 0.
Quarters: 19-8, 39-23, 58-48, 75-65.