Brent Paraiso and three other teammates bailed the Letran Knights out of trouble with timely plays that carried them to a 69-64 stopping of the Lyceum Pirates on Friday in the 98th National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Paraiso drilled in 13 points for the Knights, who pulled off their seventh straight win to move on top of the standings.
Louie Sangalang added 12 points and 18 rebounds for the Knights, who snatched the solo lead from the College of St. Benilde Blazers with their 10-3 win-loss record.
Kurt Reyson chipped in 10 points in the Knights’ effort to put the Pirates down to third with their second consecutive setback in an 8-5 slate.
Fran Yu connected with nine points, with his three of four charities in the last 12 seconds giving the Knights enough room to post the win and finalize the count in their favor.
John Barba shot 16 points for the Pirates, including a trey in the last 1:24 allowing Lyceum to tie the match for the last time at 62-all, before Sangalang’s putback and Paraiso’s rebound and assist to King Carilipio put the Letran ahead, 66-62, with 32 ticks left.
The 6’4″ Sangalang went on to post the season’s second highest rebounds, after University of Perpetual Help’s Mark Omega hauled down 22 when they prevailed over the San Beda Red Lions, 75-72, in overtime last month.
“Hindi ko na inisip kung ilan ang rebounds ko. Basta inisip ko na makuha at magka-advantage kami,” said Sangalang.