Letran upsets San Sebastian in NCAA cage opener-A A +A
Saturday, June 23, 2012
HOT shooting guard Kevin Alas finished with a game-high 31 points, leading Letran in upending last year’s runner-up San Sebastian, 80-74, at the start of the 88th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament Saturday.
Capping a productive night with five rebounds and an assist, Alas showed leadership for the Knights, who still felt the pinch of semifinal elimination in the hands of the Stags last year. The Stags eventually bowed to San Beda in the championship.
“As they say, revenge is sweet,” Alas told reporters.
That aim, however, was nearly spoiled before thousands of white-clad fans at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Faced with a 15-point deficit, the Stags needed only four minutes to tie the ballgame at 47-all in the 2:57 mark of the third canto, courtesy of beanpole Ian Sangalang and reigning Most Valuable Player Calvin Abueva, who dropped 10 of his 18 points.
The quarter even ended to San Sebastian’s favor, 53-50, before season host Letran came back in the payoff period. Things even got worse for San Sebastian when Abueva and Ronald Pascual were fouled out.
“They can do a lot better. Ronald (who sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury last year) was still not okay. It can be a lot harder (for us) if all of them were in top shape,” mentor Louie Alas, father of Kevin, said.
Sangalang collected 24 points, Abueva with 18, while Bobby Balucanag and Jovit dela Cruz had an identical 11 markers.
Letran (80) - Alas, Kevin 31, Belorio 14, Cruz 10, Racal 9, Cortes 8, Almazan 6, Lituania 2, Gabawan 0, Luib 0, Pantin 0, Alas, Kristoffer 0.
San Sebastian (74)- Sangalang 24, Abueva 18, Balucanag 11, dela Cruz 11, Antipuesto 4, Juico 2, Miranda 2, Binuya 0, Pascual 0, Maiquez 0.
Quarter scores: 14-13, 39-29, 50-53, 80-74. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)