Letran eyes bounce-back win versus EAC Generals
HAD themselves buried by a dagger winning three-pointer in their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 debut last week, the Letran Knights are out to bounce back when they return to the floor today against the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals.
Set for 12 noon at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City, Letran versus EAC opens things for seniors play in the scheduled triple-header that will also see the defending champions San Beda Red Lions take on the College of St. Benilde Blazers at 2 p.m. and the Arellano Chiefs face off with the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers at 4 p.m.
Letran (0-1) had it going well over the Mapua Cardinals in its season debut on July 11 but got the rug pulled from under it, 78-75, when senior guard Andoy Estrella drained what turned out to be the winning triple in the dying seconds of the match.
Found himself isolated against Letran’s Jeo Ambohot, the veteran playmaker Estrella pulled up from a step-back move and hit the go-ahead three-pointer with five seconds remaining.
The Knights tried to send the game into overtime but the heave of Rey Nambatac from beyond the arc failed to hit the mark as they slumped to the loss.
Jerrick Balanza led Letran in the losing cause with 15 points while Nambatac finished with 13 markers.
Bong Quinto and JP Calvo, two players who thought of leaving Letran in the run-up to the tournament, had 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“We just have to move on from this and learn from it,” said Letran coach Jeff Napa following their heartbreaking loss to Mapua.
EAC (1-0), meanwhile, is coming off a solid debut in Season 93, beating CSB, 74-64, last Friday and is looking at going 2-of-2 early in the tournament with a win over Letran.
The front court duo of Hamadou Laminou and Sydney Onwubere proved to be too much for the Blazers as they dominated the match right from the get-go.
Laminou nearly had a triple-double of 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks in their win over the Blazers while Onwubere also had a solid all-around game of 11 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block.
“We’re blessed to have these two players for us,” said EAC coach Ariel Sison as he talked about Laminou and Onwubere after the game.
In the second game, San Beda (1-1) tries to get back on the winning track after losing to the Lyceum Pirates, 96-91, last time around. It is going up against a CSB (1-1) team which also has the same mission order for the day.
JRU (1-1), for its part, looks to go above the .500 mark in their 4 p.m. set-to with Arellano (1-1), which lost at home to Season 93 hosts San Sebastian Stags, 65-56, at the “NCAA on Tour” game held at the Arellano Gym last Thursday.