NCAA: LETRAN PROVES MASTERY OF CSB, CLAIMS 3RD STRAIGHT TITLE
LETRAN once again proved its mastery of College of St. Benilde as it romped away with its third straight title via a convincing 81-67 decision in their Game 3 do-or-die duel for the 98th NCAA men's basketball tournament diadem at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
LETRAN once again proved its mastery of College of St. Benilde as it romped away with its third straight title via a convincing 81-67 decision in their Game 3 do-or-die duel for the 98th NCAA men’s basketball tournament diadem at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Knights hardly missed the absence of suspended guard Fran Yu in the highly-physical best-of-three series Game 3 to achieve their first three-peat since the 1982-84 season.
It was Letran’s 20th NCAA crown, two adrift San Beda’s all-time best 22.
The win was also the Knights’ fourth victory in five encounters with the CSB Blazers, who missed ace gunner Will Gozum in the final 1:44 where he got ejected with a flagrant, disqualifying foul against Pao Javillonar.
Gozum, the 98th season MVP, was seen in video replays headbutting Javillonar and even challenged the Knights forward to a fistfight outside the venue before leaving the court.
Javillonar was also given a strong reprimand by the league for pinching Gozum’s private part IN Game 1 of the championship series.
Letran needed but a strong second quarter in putting away St. Benilde in the form of a 19-2 tear spearheaded by Louie Sangalang.
The 19-2 run opened up a 51-28 edge for the Knights in the second quarter.
However, the Blazers fought back in the third canto where they pulled to within 42-54 behind the combined efforts of Gozum, Miggy Corteza, Mark Sangco and Migs Oczon.
But Letran stayed glued together with timely baskets for a 70-54 advantage into the final period and never looked back.
King Caralipio was named the Finals MVP after leading the Knights to 20 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in the clincher.
Brent Paraiso added 16 points, three boards, two blocks and two assists while rookie Kobe Monje stepped up big for Letran with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Corteza paced Benilde with 14 points, seven boards and two steals while Jimboy Pasturan added 10 points. Gozum also had 10 points before his ejection.
The Knights four out of five head-to-head meetings with the Blazers this season.
Letran (81) — Caralipio 20, Paraiso 16, Monje 11, Reyson 8, Sangalang 8, Santos 7, Olivario 4, Go 4, Guarino 2, Javillonar 1, Tolentino 0, Bojorcelo 0.
Benilde (67) — Corteza 14, Pasturan 10, Gozum 10, Oczon 9, Sangco 6, Nayve 6, Flores 5, Marcos 3, Cullar 2, Carlos 2, Davis 0.
Quarterscores: 24-21, 51-33, 70-54, 81-67