Rey Nambatac’s prolific fourth quarter performance powered Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s 67-62 victory over Jose Rizal University (JRU) at the Arena in San Juan City on Thursday.
The Knights, with the triumph, improved their win-loss record to 5-2.
Nambatac posted 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter in addition to five rebounds and two steals. John Quinto scored 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the field plus four assists while John Calvo contributed nine points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jom Sollano had four points and 11 rebounds also for Letran.
Nambatac shot 8-of-18 in the field highlighted by four triples and 9-of-11 in the foul line.
Nambatac broke a 53-all tie with a three-pointer giving the Knights a 56-53 advantage. Letran further stretched its lead to 62-55 down with a minute and 34 seconds to go in the game. The Heavy Bombers failed to catch up until the final buzzer sounded.
“That’s what good in this team, we know our mistakes and we’re able to correct them. I’m happy that we’re able to come back and win today,” Letran coach Jeff Napa told reporters during the postgame interview.
It was an inspiring win after Letran lost 55-61 to Perpetual Help in their last meeting.
“At least, we did what we need to do and we stick to the game plan,” Napa added.
It wasn’t a good start though for Letran as the Knights trailed behind, 10-12, in the first quarter, and 23-29 at the start of the second half. Letran recovered in the third period outscoring JRU 21-16. The Knights further closed the gap, 44-45, entering the payoff period, a prelude to Nambatac’s stellar fourth quarter performance.
JRU’s Paolo Pontejos finished with 27 points to lead his team. He only scored four points in the pivotal fourth quarter. The Heavy Bombers’ win-loss record dropped to 2-4.
Overall, Letran’s bested JRU in shooting, 41 percent against 35 percent. The Knights also got 22 points on the Heavy Bombers’ 18 turnovers.
In the juniors division, Prince Etrata scored the game-winning lay-up to allow the San Beda Red Cubs escape the Malayan High School Red Robins with a slim 86-84 win.
Mark Lagumen scored 21 points to lead San Beda.
Malayan’s win-loss record dropped to 5-2.
San Beda and Arellano, both having a perfect 7-0 win-loss record are now occupying the top spot.
San Beda stays unbeaten in 7 games
In the second game, San Beda College beat Mapua Institute of Technology, 85-74, to stretch its winning streak to seven.
Rookie Davon Potts scored 25 points, including 10 in the payoff period while AC Soberano and Jayvee Mocon contributed 17 and 14 points respectively to lift the Red Lions to solo top spot.
Donald Tankoua had 11 points while Robert Bolick finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists also for San Beda.
“As what I’ve said before, this means nothing because we still have the second round and then the playoffs,” said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin during the postgame interview. “We have to keep better every game and improve.”
Nigerian Allwell Oraeme led Mapua with 21 points and 20 rebounds.
Mapua and Letran are now holding identical 5-2 win-loss records.