Letran shuts down St. Benilde in Game 1, nears NCAA crown

Knight Letran celebrates a point in game 1 of the NCAA Season 98 finals. –NCAA Photo

Knight Letran celebrates a point in game 1 of the NCAA Season 98 finals. –NCAA Photo

MANILA, Philippines—Letran passed the College of St. Benilde, 81-75, in Game 1 of the Finals to win the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball championship on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

The Knights, who could win the coveted three peat on December 11, limited the Blazers to just eight points in the fourth quarter.

“Before the start of the series, someone asked us what our advantage was against CSB. First, the experience is there because we’ve played for the championship before,” said coach Bonnie Tan.

With Letran taking a one-goal lead in the final half, 70-69, Kurt Reyson and King Caralipio sank giant buckets in the inning to extend the lead to six, 75-69, with less than a half to go. five minutes.

The Blazers missed a number of chances over the long haul to get back on track with Macoy Marcos and JC Cullar missing the back-to-back trio with less than two minutes to go, followed by an attacking foul from Will. Gozum to turn the ball upside down.

That gave Letran the chance to seal the victory as Fran Yu sank two chilling free throws to send the game out of reach, 79-73, with 23.4 ticks left.

Louie Sangalang finished with a career-high 24 points along with 10 bounces. Caralipio and Reyson finished with 16 and 13, respectively.

Gozum scored twice with 18 markers and 11 goals for Benilde. Migs Corteza and Mark Sangco registered 18 and 10 points to their names in a losing attempt.


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