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Knights gain revenge

Games today:
(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
12 p.m. — San Beda vs Perpetual
3 p.m. — Mapua vs EAC

Defending champion Letran recovered from a slow start with a solid second half to exact revenge over first-round tormentor Arellano University, 65-53, and extend its winning run to five in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 98 seniors basketball competition at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan on Friday.

King Caralipio lorded it over inside the paint for a double-double performance.

His clutch basket from underneath saved the Knights from the Chiefs’ late rally to hike their record to 8-3 for a tie with Lyceum of the Philippines University at the second spot.

The 6-foot-2 Caralipio scored on a short stab to ignite a closing 10-0 blast to finish off Arellano, which handed Letran its first loss of the season, 72-69, to start the first round.

“I just did my role to help my team. It’s really a luxury having Fran (Yu) and Brent (Paraiso) feeding me the ball,” Caralipio, who had 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 13 rebounds, said.

Yu had 12 markers, six rebounds and five assists while Paraiso added 10 points, five boards and three assists for Letran.

Letran struggled in the first two quarters before buckling down on defense to shackle Arellano University to just six points in the third quarter as the Knights created a comfortable 12-point separation before entering the payoff period holding a 43-49 lead.

Cade Flores willed the Chiefs back in the fourth period scoring back-to-back baskets — a dunk and a contested drive to the hoop — to cut Letran’s lead to 53-55 with 1:42 to go in the game.

Yu found an open Caralipio for the decisive basket before Paraiso scored on a layup after stripping Shane Menina followed by a pair of charities to give Letran a 61-53 lead with just 57.1 ticks left
The Chiefs took advantage of the Knights’ error-filled second quarter to enter halftime with a 33-26 lead.

Arellano slid to 4-6 slate tied with Perpetual Help.

Flores led the Chiefs with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists while Joshua Abastillas and Daniel Mallari had eight and seven, respectively.

The scores:

LETRAN (65) — Caralipio 13, Yu 12, Paraiso 10, Reyson 8, Javillonar 7, Sangalang 6, Santos 4, Monje 2, Olivario 2, Ariar 1, Tolentino 0, Go 0, Guarino 0.

ARELLANO (53) — Flores 15, Abastillas 8, Mallari 7, Doromal 6, Menina 5, Oliva 4, Oftana 3, Mantua 3, Sunga 2, Tolentino 0, Talampas 0.

Quarters: 14-15, 26-33, 43-39, 65-53.

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