SAN JUAN City – Defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran recovered from its opening day debacle by clipping Emilio Aguinaldo College, 76-72, at the resumption of the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association at the San Juan Arena Tuesday (June 28). The Knights turned to their defense to thwart a late surge by the Generals who rallied from 11 points down at the start of the fourth period.
The Generals came to their closest, 72-74, led by the big plays of Hamadou Laminou and Francis Munsayac and had a big chance to score a reversal as the Knights committed a 24-second shot clock violation with 26 seconds to play. Sadly, EAC muffed their two attempts with the Knights securing the defensive rebound that led to a full-court pass to the sprint JP Calvo for an unmolested layup that clinched the contest with still nine ticks on the clock, 76-72.
“The players know that when I get mad, something is wrong,” said Coach Jeff Napa commenting on their near collapse in the fourth period. “In the end, it was our defense that saved us and the players really worked hard for the win.”
Rey Nambatac finished with 33 points for the Knights after a 21-point first half. Bong Quinto came off the bench to fire 17 points plus three steals.
Laminou had a double-double for the Generals with 23 points and 18 rebounds. Igee King and Munsayac followed with 14 markers each.
Both teams ended up with similar 1-1 win-loss cards. The Knights lost to season host San Beda College on opening day, 85-89, while the Generals bested College of Saint Benilde two days ago, 64-57.
How They Scored:
LETRAN (76) – Nambatac 33, Quinto 17, Balanza 7, Sollano 6, Apreku 4, Calvo 4, Luib 2, Balagasay 2, de la Pena 1, Bernabe 0, Ambohot 0, Vacaro 0, Sario 0.
EMILIO AGUINALDO (72) – Laminou 23, Munsayac 14, King 14, Morada 10, Onwubere 4, Pascua 3, Corilla 2, Diego 2, Mendoza 0, Guzman 0, Neri 0, Serrano 0, Estacio 0, Aguas 0.
Period Scores: 15-10, 41-34, 62-51, 76-72.