Knights share lead with Red Lions, smother Altas

12 07 2007

The Knights want a share of the lead.

Letran College’s tenacious defense stopped the University of Perpetual Help from gaining momentum, 68-52, on Wednesday and tied San Beda College with the same 4-0 slate of the 83rd NCAA men’s basketball at The Arena in San Juan City.

Behind their defense and reliable frontline, the Knights were able to contain the Altas from start to finish.

Center Dino Daa collected a season-high 25 rebounds – erasing Ekwe’s 22 board production – and nailed in 15 points on a 16-of-12 shooting from the field. Bryan Faundo added 15 points and handed University of Perpetual Help a 1-3 slate.

“I’m happy at least we have proven ourselves that we can still be a contender,” said Knights head coach Louie Alas. “We have to practice harder because we’re not yet the best team in the league like San Beda”. The Knights will face the Red Lions, the league’s defending champs, next week.

Letran took away a 14-3 cushion midway thru the opening frame and Jazul extended their lead to 18-6 after hitting two charities with still 3:12 minutes left.

Raffy Ynion narrowed it to 14-20 with two straight baskets to start the second quarter.

The Knights kept the cushion, 32-19, in the second quarter after Faundo nailed a tough jumper with 3:42 minutes remaining before halftime. But the Altas never surrender easily.

The Altas were able to catch up on three split free throw occasions courtesy of Michael Kong and Indonesian rookie Ryan Febrian making it 39-41 with nearly seven minutes left.

The Knights buckled down once more as Jazul scored a three-point basket and fed Cabonce for a bucket with 22 ticks left for a 46-39 lead.

Letran tightened up its defensively as they held the Altas scoreless for almost four minutes in the final quarter. The Knights’ 15-0 blast had totally crippled the Altas. Their biggest lead with 2:40 minutes left in the 4th was at 65-42 and never looked back.

Rafael Jazul drilled in eight points and dished out nine assists. Rey Guevarra also added eight points for the Knights.

Michael Kong made 13 points and four rebounds, Ronald Reyes had 11 markers and Lee Sang Myeon had eight points and eight rebounds for the Altas.

Individual scores:

Letran 68- Daa 15, Faundo 15, Jazul 8, Guevarra 8, Cabonce 7, Latonio 5, del Rosario 3, Melegrito 3, Dangcal 2, Reposar 2, Gutilban 0, Ranises 0, Foronda C. 0, Foronda J. 0

Perpetual Help 52- Kong 13, Reyes 11, Lee 8, Ynion 6, Dysam 6, Balboa 4, Liaz 2, Febrian 2, Manuel 0, Salanga 0

Quarter scores: 18-10; 37-26; 46-39; 68-52

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