Knights hand Blazers first loss

Defending champion Letran College put a stain on College of St. Benilde’s erstwhile pristine record yesterday as the Knights posted an 81-75 win in Season 98 National Collegiate Athetic Association basketball tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Holding a 77-66 lead with 6;24 remaining, the Knights suddenly found themselves threatened as the Blazers went on a 9-0 tear.

But Letran fuelled the uprising by making four points and had to bank on Louie Sanggalang’s hustle to preserve the win and improve its record to 2-1.

The loss dropped CSB’s mark to 3-1.

Letran head coach Bonnie Tan had earlier dared the Knights “not to make the same mistakes that we committed against Arellano.”

The players heard Tan loud and clear as the Knights rebounded from that heartbreaking 61-59 loss to the Chiefs over the weekend.

Brent Paraiso erupted for a career-high 25 points for the Knights.

In the second game, Cedrick Abis sank a crucial triple with 26.1 seconds left as University of Perpetual System Dalta tripped Mapua University, 79-77.

Meanwhile, San Sebastian College’s next two games have been postponed due to health and safety protocols.

In a statement released by the league on Friday, the Stags’ 3 p.m. match against Lyceum of the Philippines University set today and its noon match against host Emilio Aguinaldo College on Tuesday have been put on hold after six players were placed under health and safety protocols.

The Letran-Mapua match will be the lone game to be played on Tuesday.

First Game:

LETRAN (81) — Paraiso 25, Yu 12, Javillonar 10, Monje 10, Caralipio 8, Reyson 6, Santos 6, Sangalang 4, Ariar 0, Olivario 0, Bautista 0.

SAINT BENILDE (75) — Gozum 23, Corteza 18, Nayve 10, Lepalam 10, Cullar 7, Sangco 4, Pasturan 2, Flores 1, Marcos 0, Carlos 0, Dimayuga 0.

QUARTERS: 25-23, 50-46, 71-62, 81-75.

Second Game:

PERPETUAL (79) — Aurin 18,Razon 15, Nitura 13, Abis 11, Roque 9, Omega 9, Flores 4, Barcuma 0, Martel 0, Cuevas 0, Orgo 0, Nunez 0.

MAPUA (77) — Gamboa 12, Hernandez 11, Soriano 11, Nocum 10, Bonifacio 10, Pido 9, Lacap 8, Garcia 4, Cuenco 2, Agustin 0, Mercado 0.

QUARTERS: 20-24, 38-41, 60-55, 79-77.

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