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Letran wins 7th straight

Games Saturday:

(Filoil EcoOil Centre)

12:00 noon –- EAC vs Arellano

3:00 p.m. –- CSB vs San Beda

Three-peat-seeking Letran College made big baskets and even bigger stops in the closing minute of the payoff period to extend its winning streak to seven after a 69-64 payback over Lyceum of the Philippines University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 98 seniors basketball competition at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan on Friday.

Louie Sangalang grabbed the biggest of his game-high 18 rebounds in the last 65 seconds of the match to score on a crucial putback that sparked the closing 7-2 blast of the Knights, who avenged their first round loss to the Pirates.

Letran hiked its win-loss record to 10-3 to keep a tight grip of the solo second behind College of Saint Benilde, which sports a 9-2 slate and is ahead in the tiebreak.

Sangalang broke a 62-62 deadlock with a putback off a King Caralipio miss. Caralipio then scored on a contested drive at the basket before Kurt Reyson gave Letran an extra possession off a steal on Lyceum’s inbound in the next play.

Although the Knights failed to convert, it shaved off precious time off the clock. Shawn Umali sank two free throws to cut Letran’s lead to 66-64 with 18.4 seconds left.

Fran Yu gave the Knights some breathing room with a pair of charities before Reyson made another defensive gem as he intercepted the inbound pass intended for Mac Guadana. Yu sealed the win with a split on the line

Letran effectively stymied the running game of Lyceum, limiting the Pirates to just eight fastbreak points.

“We know LPU is no. 1 in the transition so coach (Bonnie Tan) plotted a gameplan to counter that. We tried to run down on defense as quickly as we can so we can prevent them from getting points off fastbreaks,” Reyson, who came off the bench to score 10 points, said.

Brent Paraiso showed the way for the Knights with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting while Sangalang had a double-double with 12 markers and 18 boards. Reyson got two steals while Yu finished with nine points for Letran.

Lyceum slid to 8-5 card but remained at solo third.

John Barba was the only Pirate in double figures with 16 points on 5-of-9 field goal shooting clip including the trey that tied the game at 62 with 1:26 left.

JM Bravo and Enzo Navarro added nine and eight points, respectively, for Lyceum.

The Scores:

LETRAN (69) — Paraiso 13, Sangalang 12, Reyson 10, Yu 9, Caralipio 7, Javillonar 5, Olivario 4, Go 4, Santos 3, Ariar 2, Miclat 0, Guarino 0

LPU (64) — Barba 16, Bravo 9, Guadana 8, Navarro 8, Valdez 6, Larupay 6, Umali 4, Villegas 4, Montano 3, Cunanan 0, Penafiel 0.

Quarters: 16-15, 31-31, 50-46, 69-64.

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