By Nikole Javier
Rivals Letran and Mapua lock horns in a rematch of last season’s finale in the NCAA men’s basketball on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Tipoff is set at 3 p.m., with the Knights looking to gain a share of the lead with their 2-1 record against a struggling Cardinals side (1-3). The 12 noon match between San Sebastian and Emilio Aguinaldo College, meanwhile, was moved to a later date due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
Coming off from an 81-75 win over erstwhile unbeaten St. Benilde last Sept. 23, Letran head coach Bonnie Tan knew he should remind his players not to let their guards down against Mapua which they beat for the championship in Season 98.
“Speaking of Mapua, of course, we’ll expect a tough game again. Matibay and alam natin experienced team, so sana maka-execute kami ng good game plan against Mapua,” said Tan.
Veterans Brent Paraiso and Fran Yu collaborated inside the court for Letran to hand St. Benilde its first loss of the season, posting 25 points and 12 points, respectively. Louie Sangalang had his fair share of contributions on the defensive end after putting up a huge denial on Will Gozum’s attempt with 25 seconds to go.
“Galing ‘yong Mapua sa talo eh, gutom din sila manalo. Saka umabot din sila sa finals so iba rin ‘yong mga players nila. Composed din ‘yong mga players nila, veterans parang kami,” added Paraiso.
On the other end, the Cardinals are seeking to get out of the slump, with the recent one against the Perpetual Altas, 79-77, also last Sept. 23.
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