Letran secures place in Final 4
MANILA, Philippines – The Letran Knights needed extra time to hammer out a 95-89 win over the College of St. Benilde Blazers and secure a seat in the NCAA men’s basketball semifinals.
Mark Cruz led the way for Letran with 19 points and 9 caroms.
Letran, which improved its record to 12-3, also received able backing from Rey Nambatac, Kevin Racal and Raymond Almazan.
Nambatac had 17 points, while Racal and Almazan added 16 points each.
St. Benilde, which got 19 points from Mark Romero, dropped its 10th in 15 starts.
In the other game, Arellano U leaned on John Pinto’s game winning jumper to edge Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC), 71-70.
Pinto had 18 points, including his midrange shot 40 seconds remaining, to keep the Chiefs’ playoffs bid alive.
Arellano was leading 63-49 going into the fourth when EAC launched a fiery 20-6 run that knotted the scores 69-all, 1:57 left in the game.
Pinto came to the clutch and converted a tough shot to give the Chiefs a 71-69 cushion with 40 ticks left.
After splitting his free throws, EAC’s John Tayongtong had a chance to seize the game for the Generals.
He, however, failed to take notice of the dwindling shot clock and this allowed Arellano to escape with the victory.
Arellano improved its record to 6-9, while EAC’s playoff bid took a hit with an 8-8 record.