Letran encountered stiff resistance before turning back Lyceum, 80-77, in a narrow victory that kept the unbeaten slate of the defending champions going in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Easter Sunday.
Rhenz Abando completely reversed the trend with a three-point play and a jarring two-handed baseline slam off a Fran Yu feed that removed the pesky Pirates in command and paved the way for Knights’ fifth win in as many games.
Omar Larupay launched a last-ditch charge to redeem the Pirates and Renzo Navarro’s three even pulled them closer, but Letran’s Fran Yu and Geo Ambohot managed to crush the uprising.
Ambohot, asserting his length on the floor, finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks while Abando buried 11 of his 13 points in the final half for the Knights, who came back from a seven-point deficit to again share the lead with the San Beda Red Lions.
Rookie John Barba finally came out of his shell with 20 points and Larupay likewise posted career highs of 19 points and 11 boards, and yet these efforts were not enough to quell the Knights and prevent themselves from falling to their fifth defeat in six games.
LETRAN 80 — Abando 14, Ambohot 13, Yu 9, Paraiso 9, Fajarito 7, Reyson 7, Mina 6, Olivario 5, Caralipio 5, Javillonar 5, Ariar 0.
LYCEUM 77 — Barba 20, Larupay 19, Navarro 10, Valdez 9, Cunanan 6, Remulla 5, Garro 3, Guadana 2, Umali 2, Bravo 1, Guinto 0, Gaviola 0.
Quarters: 20-24, 39-46, 62-65, 80-77.
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