By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball rivalry between the Letran Knights and San Sebastian Stags is revisited today as they collide in the 4 p.m. game of the scheduled triple-header at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Two of the hottest teams right now in Season 93 of the country’s longest-standing collegiate league, the Knights (4-3) are out to extend their three-game winning streak and fortify their spot in the top four while the Stags (3-3) are looking to add to their back-to-back wins.
Scheduled games prior to the Letran-San Sebastian match will see the Arellano Chiefs (2-4) go up against the Perpetual Help Altas (2-4) at 12 noon and the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers (2-3) take on the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals (3-3) at 2 p.m.
After a slow start to the new season of the NCAA, the Knights have suddenly awakened and have been conquering the field of late with solid plays.
Letran’s last victory was over Perpetual Help, 63-61, last Friday where it relied on a total team effort to stave off the resilient Altas.
Bong Quinto led the Knights with 14 points to go along with nine rebounds and three assists while Rey Nambatac finished with a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds in a game where Letran needed to dig deep to claim its third straight victory.
“I give full credit to the players. They really worked hard to get the win,” said Letran coach Jeff Napa of their win over Perpetual Help.
“They showed a lot of character in the face of a difficult challenge, particularly the veterans who really stepped up and took the cudgels for the team,” Mr. Napa added.
The win was the third in a row for Muralla-based Letran following victories over St. Benilde and Arellano. It also pushed the team to solo third place behind league-leading Lyceum Pirates (7-0) and defending champions San Beda Red Lions (6-1).
STAGS EYE THREE IN A ROW
Out to stop Letran and pad its own win streak is Season 93 host San Sebastian, winner of its last two games, the most recent of which against St. Benilde, 101-71, last Friday.
The Egay Macaraya-coached Stags channeled the unstoppable against the Blazers with Michael Calisaan going for 20 points while teammates Alfren Gayosa and Allyn Bulanadi chipping in 15 and 13 points, respectively.
“Our shooting percentage in this game was good. St. Benilde allowed us to shoot three-pointers and good thing we made them pay for it. We also played defensively,” said Mr. Macaraya postgame.
Meanwhile, the first game will see slumping teams Arellano and Perpetual Help try to arrest their skid and get back to winning.
The second game, for its part, has JRU and EAC looking to break from their middling ways.