Letran’s Fran Yu (3) drives past Arellano’s Darrel Menina (30) in their encounter Friday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament
MANILA — Defending two-time champion Letran Knights showed Arellano University Chiefs the stuff they are made of via a 65-53 decision Friday, to gain a piece of second place in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
The Knights leaned on the heroics of King Caralipio who produced a double-double outing of 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Fran Yu added 12 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals for the Knights.
Raising its record to 8-3, Letran tied idle Lyceum of the Philippines University in second place and stay within reach of league-leading College of Saint Benilde (8-2).
After encountering a rough patch midway through the first round, the Knights are getting into the groove of things.
“Malaki po. Kumbaga po, tuloy-tuloy po yung panalo namin. Yung momentum po, nandoon kaya malaking bagay po sa next game po namin para malaki ang kumpiyansa namin,” said Caralipio.
Brent Paraiso scored six of his 10 points in the Knights’ 10-0 finishing run, to go along with five boards, three assists, and three steals.
It was some sort of double victory for Letran as it avenged its 69-72 loss to Arellano in their first meeting this season even as the Chiefs also had a hand in snapping the Knights’s 14-game, three-year winning streak.
“Kasi sa first round kasi, sila yung tumalo sa amin at naputol ang 14 straight na panalo namin simula noong 2019. Nagsisi talaga kami lahat doon, Yung mga beterano, nag-usap kami para bawian sa second round. Kaya ayun, naglabas naman ng biyaya at nanalo kami,” said Kurt Reyson, who contributed with eight points, four boards and three assists.
Cade Flores had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Chiefs.
Arellano dropped to 4-6 in a tie with the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in the sixth spot.
Meanwhile, the first game between Jose Rizal Univesity and San Sebastian was postponed to a later date due to health and safety protocols.
Letran (65) — Caralipio 13, Yu 12, Paraiso 10, Reyson 8, Javillonar 7, Sangalang 6, Santos 4, Monje 2, Olivario 2, Ariar 1, Tolentino 0, Go 0, Guarino 0.
Arellano (53) — Flores 15, Abastillas 8, Mallari 7, Doromal 6, Menina 5, Oliva 4, Oftana 3, Mantua 3, Sunga 2, Tolentino 0, Talampas 0.
Quarterscores: 14-15, 26-33, 43-39, 65-53