THE Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights beat five-peat champion San Beda College Red Lions, 93-80, on Thursday to regain their share of the top spot in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Kevin Racal, Mark Cruz, Itomari Sollano and John Paul Calvo combined for 58 points to power the Knights’ win. The win allow the Knights to share the top spot with University of Perpetual Help Altas System DALTA Altas that are also carrying a 3-0 card.
The Red Lions dropped to the third spot with the Arellano Chiefs that are also bearing a 2-1 record.
Racal finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Knights, while Cruz had 16 and Calvo 12. Sollano posted 10 for Letran now under the tutelage of rookie coach Aldin Ayo.
Ola Adeogun led San Beda with 20 points and eight rebounds while Arthur de la Cruz contributed 18 points and 15 rebounds.
In the other game, the Lyceum of the Philippines Pirates leaned on Shaquille Oswald Alanes’ five straight points including a triple in the final 6.7 seconds to escape with a 72-69 win over College of Saint Benilde Blazers.
The Pirates were down, 67-69, when Alanes received a pass in the left corner and scored a triple allowing his team to grab the lead for good, 70-69. He later converted a pair of free throws to secure their first win in three outings.
Alanes finished with 18 points, two assists and a rebound to the frustration of the Blazers whose record dropped to 1-3.
“I was really nervous because we were down by two points. But coach Topex Robinson told us just to stay calm. Thank God, the shot went in for our first win. We were also focused on defense, that’s where we were lagging behind. I hope, this will be the starting point and we will win more games,” said Alanes.