Knights deal Blazers 1st loss in NCAA hoops

LETRAN wore down College of Saint Benilde, 81-75, to get back in winning form in the National Collegiate Athletic Association seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan Friday.

The Knights held the Blazers to their season-low with Fran Yu nailing the virtual winner with a layup that gave the defending champions a 79-75 advantage in with 54.1 seconds remaining.

Mark Sangalang sank two crucial defensive stops down the stretch to frustrate Benilde whose three-game winning was halted.

The league, meanwhile, postponed Saturday’s lone match between San Sebastian and Lyceum of the Philippines University after six Stags were placed under health protocols.

Tuesday’s game between San Sebastian and Emilio Aguinaldo College was also scratched and will be played at a later date.

Letran, which bounced back from last Sunday’s 69-72 loss to Arellano University that ended a 14-game winning streak, rose to 2-1 won-lost for third place.

Brent Paraiso had a career-high 25 points to go with four steals, three assists and two rebounds, while Yu had an all-around game of 12 points, nine rebounds, six assists and six steals.

Rookie Kobe Monje and Pao Javillonar each scored 10 points for the Knights, whose coach, Bonnie Tan, heaved a sigh of relief.

“I challenged the boys to avoid losing in the same manner as they did to the Chiefs,” Tan said.  Sangalang had 10 rebounds in the game.

“We focused on defense,” said Sangalang, who had a key block on Will Gozum late in the game. Gozum had a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds with two steals, Miggy Corteza chipped in 18 points and seven rebounds and Robi Nayve and Ladis Lepalam each had 10 points for the Blazers.