The Letran Knights showed no signs of rust, outrebounding the University of the Perpetual Altas for their fourth straight win, 74-59, on Tuesday in the 98th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament.
Dominating the boards with 15 of their total of 54 rebounds in the last 10 minutes allowed the Knights to pick up their seventh win in 10 games in the start of the second round.
Paolo Javillonar took charge under the boards with his seven of 12 rebounds, while the Knights held the Altas to eight made baskets out of 24 field goal attempts in the last period.
The Knights, coming off a six-day break following the end of their first-round games, drew 16 points from Brent Paraiso, while Louie Sangalang added 10 points and 10 boards in their effort to hold off the Altas, who stayed in seventh with their third straight setback and a 4-6 slate.
King Caralipio shot nine points, and so did Kurt Reyson, who made six in the third period, with his two three-pointers in the last 8:24, and in the 5:34 mark widening a 37-32 lead into a 45-34 spread.
Paraiso unloaded eight points in the last quarter, with his jumper with 7:35 left pushing the Knights up, 57-40. His trey in the final 5:12 gave them a 20-point spread, 64-43.
Knights’ coach Bonnie Tan lauded the team’s effort to stretch their winning run following a six-day break.
“Iyun ang sinabi ko sa kanila after the six-day break na sayang ang three-game winning streak namin. Dapat, tuloy-tuloy lang,” said Tan.
Meanwhile, at least two members of the Arellano University Chiefs tested positive for COVID-19, forcing organizers to reset the fight between the San Beda University Red Lions and the Chiefs scheduled at 12 noon.
A week of schedule involving the Chiefs has been affected, with the league expected to come up with a new set of schedules for the second round.