Sunday, 30 June 2013 Be the first one to comment
by JOSEF T. RAMOS
Raymond Almazan and the rest of the Letran Knights are just taking each game mighty seriously.
Despite committing a lot of turnovers in the game, the Letran Knights displayed mastery over the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 79-74, on a rainy Saturday afternoon for back-to-back wins in the 89th NCAA senior’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Almazan, Mark Cruz, and rookie Rey Nambatac teamed up well in crunch time to douse cold water on the Generals’ blistering rally and help the Knights go up 2-0 in the standings. Letran also routed the San Sebastian Stags in their opener.
“All over the game, we were struggling, but we made sure breaks of the game stayed with us,” said first year Letran Knights head coach Caloy Garcia, who took over the coaching job from Louie Alas.
The towering 6’7 Almazan showed another superb performance by racking up 15 points and grabbing 17 rebounds along with three blocks, while playmaker Cruz led the Knights with 18 points and Nambatac produced 13 points.
“Playing against them is a real challenge,” said Almazan. “All of us did well.”
Emilio Aguinaldo College came within two points, 71-69, courtesy of a Jorem Morada three-pointer with over a minute left in the game, but the Knights were able to answer back.
Nambatac also sealed the win for the Knights, hitting two free throws with only a few seconds left before Almazan drove to the basket for an emphatic dunk.
Ford Ruaya also contributed 11 points for the Knights, who missed the service of the injured Jojo Belorio.
“We already knew EAC would come out with a different mindset, but the good thing was we’re ready,” said Garcia.
The Generals, who drew 22 points from Morada and 20 from Jack Arquero, suffered their second straight defeat.
The Generals started ahead in the first quarter 18-14, but couldn’t sustain their lead. (EF/Inboundpass.com)
Letran 79 — Cruz 18, Almazan 15, Nambatac 13, Ruaya 11, Gabawan 8, Luib 5, Racal 5, Dysam 4, Tambeling 0, Buenaflor 0, Publico 0.
Emilio Aguinaldo 74 — Morada 22, Arquero 20, Happi 10, King 7, Jamon 5, Tayongtong 4, Paguia 2, Castro 2, Hiole Manga 2, Munsayac 0.
QS: 14-18; 44-37; 63-57; 79-74.