(The Arena, San Juan City)
2 p.m. - San Sebastian vs St. Benilde
4 p.m. - Emilio Aguinaldo vs Mapua
THE duo of bigman Mark Acosta and Jonathan Banal dumped nine of Mapua’s 16 points in the final quarter to defeat Letran, 66-51, at the Arena in San Juan City.
The Cardinals and the Knights engaged themselves in a seesaw ride, but the end-game experience of Letran prevailed in the last three minutes of the final canto en route to a solo fourth standing in the nine-member tournament.
Mapua improved to 3-2 (win-loss) card while Letran suffered its second consecutive defeat to drop at 1-4.
“I’m very happy nakakadeliver lahat. Lahat naman ng teams mabigat so we really have to be prepared, hindi namin pwde balewalain ang mga kalaban,” said coach Chito Victolero, whose boys experienced seven lead changes and a deadlock.
Letran struggled offensively as veteran Kevin Alas was sidelined due to knee contusion.
“I told my boys that we are expecting a physical game against Letran. Before this, we know that we have to firm up on experience, maturity and consistency. Maganda ang lead at naprotektahan namin,” said Victolero.
Acosta finished with 20 markers while Banal chipped in eight points including a perfect score (six-of-six) on the charity paint.
Franz Dysam topscored anew for the Knights with 12 points, eight of which were unloaded in the second quarter as Letran moved closely at the end of the first half, 34-30.
In the juniors play, Jose Rizal leaned on a foul shot by Cris dela Paz with six seconds to go as it rallied to stun San Sebastian, 70-69, to seize a share of the lead in the juniors’ division with idle Perpetual Help on 4-2 records.
Jerome Garcia led the Light Bombers with 22 points he spiked with seven boards, five steals and four assists while dela Paz finished with 18 points.
The loss relegated the Staglets down to fourth spot with a 3-2 card.
Rey Nambatac and Mark Cruz combined for 49 points to power the Letran Squires to an 89-83 win over the Mapua Red Robins to improve to 2-3.
Mapua (66) - Acosta 20, Banal 8, Pascual 7, Guillermo 6, Ranises 6, Cornejo 6, Parala 5, Mangahas 5, Stevens 3, Sarangay 0.
Letran (51) – Dysam 12, Belencion 10, Espiritu 8, Taplah 8, Cortes 7, Alejandro 3, Alas 2, Belorio 1, Almazan 0, Pantin 0, Ang 0.
Quarters: 20-17, 34-30, 50-40, 66-51.