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Knights nail 1st win

Defending champion Letran survived Emilio Aguinaldo College’s fourth-quarter assault to post a 76-72 squeaker yesterday for its first win in the 92nd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Still smarting from an 89-85 opening loss to San Beda over the weekend, the Knights hung tough despite the Generals’ persistent attempts to even their win-loss record at 1-1.

Veteran Rey Nambatac exploded for Letran with 33 points, including 14 in the second quarter, while John Quinto stepped up with 17 markers, three steals and three boards.

Letran coach Jeff Napa wasn’t satisfied with the victory but still gave credit to his stalwarts’ efforts.

“It’s an ugly win, but it’s still a win,” Napa said. “At least naisip nila na kailangan pa rin nilang dumepensa hanggang sa huli.”

Enjoying a comfortable 62-51 advantage after three quarters, the Knights saw their lead trimmed down, 74-72, with 63 seconds left but the Generals failed to cash in.

LETRAN 76 – Nambatac 33, Quinto 17, Balanza 7, Sollano 6, Apreku 4, Calvo 4, Balagasay 2, Luib 2, Dela Peña 1, Ambohot 0, Bernabe 0, Sario 0, Vacaro 0.

EAC 72 – Laminou 23, King 14, Munsayac 14, Morada 10, Onwubere 4, Pascua 3, Corilla 2, Diego 2, Aguas 0, Estacio 0, Guzman 0, Mendoza 0, Neri 0, Serrano 0.

Quarters: 15-10, 41-34, 62-51, 76-72.