NCAA semis: Letran forges knockout match vs San Sebastian

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Monday, October 17, 2011

MANILA—Fighting for dear life, third-seed Letran leaned on a balanced attack in the payoff period to defeat slumping San Sebastian, 70-62, in the semifinals of the 87th NCAA men’s basketball tournament Monday.

“We’ll try to go for the clincher. Fatigue will be a non-factor for the next game because players normally feel exhausted only after the season,” Letran coach Louie Alas said, whose wards set up a winner-take-all encounter against San Sebastian for the last finals spot on Wednesday.

San Beda dominated Jose Rizal University, 83-74, in the first Final Four contest to march into the championship phase for the sixth consecutive year.

In a game marked by six deadlocks and five leadchanges, the Knights orchestrated a 13-0 blitz in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to keep the Stags chasing for the rest of the match, 59-46.

And the battle-weary Stags couldn’t just find a way in stopping an imminent loss at the hands of the Knights after scoring only one field goal in the fourth quarter.

“For us, we’ll just go out and play well on Wednesday. We still have a chance,” San Sebastian mentor Topex Robinson said.

Jam Cortes topscored for the Knights with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Kevin Alas and Mark Cruz combined for 27 markers for the Intramuros-based squad.

Calvin Abueva, meanwhile, finished with a double-double performance with 19 points and 16 rebounds to banner the Stags’ losing cause. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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