MANILA – Letran College bucked a sloppy first quarter to list its fourth win in the 86th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Monday at the Arena in San Juan.

The Knights, who have to do rounds of jogging during the halftime break, regained their senses in the third quarter and continued the shooting rampage in the payoff period to down the resurgent Arellano University Chiefs, 72-58.

Three-time champion Louie Alas, who admitted of having a difficult time in bringing out the best in his young squad, congratulated the Knights for playing good defense and grabbing the team’s most boards this season.

“In our past two losses against Mapua and San Sebastian, we started strong in the early minutes but surprisingly for this game we started flat. I can’t figure out the attitude of my players, very immature. But anyway, I hope we can score back-to-back wins this time,” he said.

Alas said he tried to loosen his grip over his players by asking them to gel their acts without pressure while keeping their minds focused in winning Monday’s contest.

“Our rebounding spelled the difference. We grabbed 53 rebounds, the highest for the team this season,” he said, as graduating Jamieson Cortes posted a season-tying 21 rebounds on top of 19 points to lead the Knights’ comeback charge.

It’s still a long way to go however for the Intramuros-based dribblers after being stuck in seventh place with a 4-7 slate, half game behind Arellano which dropped to 4-6.(Virgil

Lopez/Sunnex)