Game 2 (Thursday)
(San Andres Sports Complex)
2:30 p.m. – LSGH vs Letran
MANILA — Letran on Monday moved within a win from ending a 22-year title drought after hacking out a hard-earned 85-81 win over CSB-La Salle Green Hills in Game 1 of their best-of-three championship series in the NCAA juniors basketball tournament at the San Andres Sports Complex.
The Squires struggled from beyond the arc, missing all of their 17 three-point attempts from there in the first three periods.
But when it mattered most, the Squires finally found their rhythm from three-point territory in the final frame where they went 4-of-7 and finally crushed the challenge put up by the Greenies.
Usual suspect June Silorio had a career-high 27 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, while Andy Gemao also delivered a solid game for Letran with 21 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
Quenching the 22-year championship drought for the Squires will be known at 2:30 p.m. in Game 2 on Thursday (16 March 2023) over at the same Manila venue.
The record book shows that Letran last won the high school crown in 2001 behind Jay-R Reyes.
Letran needed a Gemao’s breakaway dunk at the 6:37 mark that sparked the Squires’ searing 13-4 run and shattered the game’s final deadlock at 72-72.
George Diamante also played big for Letran with a double-double outing of 12 points and 17 boards to go along with five assists and four blocks.
First-year coach Allen Ricardo knows that the job is not yet done for the Squires.
“Meron pa tayong unfinished business,” said Ricardo.
“Just stay composed. Iyon ang pinaka-importante. Yung championship series, na-experience nila ang Game 1, then after ng viewing, mare-realize nila what went wrong, what went right, what went good. Going to Game 2, just stay composed, that’s it,” he added.
Luis Pablo had 22 points, 19 rebounds, two steals and two blocks, while Seven Gagate also had a double-double effort of 12 points and 13 boards to go along with three assists and two steals for LSGH. Rod Alian had 14 points and seven rebounds while James Ison and CJ Mesias also scored in double-digits for the Greenies with 10 points apiece.
The scores: Letran (85) -- Silorio 27, Gemao 21, Diamante 12, Manalili 9, Alforque 4, Anabo 4, Baliling 3, Hugo 2, Navarro 2, Cruz 1. LSGH (81) -- Pablo 22, Alian 14, Gagate 12, Ison 10, Mesias 10, Rivero 6, Gomez 5, Romero 2, Zaragosa 0. Quarterscores: 17-22, 41-44, 65-64, 85-81