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Nambatac shines for Knights

Games Today
(The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – JRU vs San Beda (Jrs.)
10 a.m. – Perpetual vs Lyceum (Jrs.)
12 noon – JRU vs San Beda (Srs.)
2 p.m. – Perpetual vs Lyceum (Srs.)
4 p.m. – SSCR vs Mapua (Srs.)
6 p.m. – SSCR vs Mapua (Jrs.)

Rey Nambatac erupted for 31 points and Letran turned back College of St. Benilde, 92-78, in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Letran gym in Intramuros, Manila.

The 5-foot-11 pointguard finished with a 10-of-23 shooting to help power the Knights to their second consecutive victory and third overall in six outings.

Nambatac highlighted his performance by also collaring 11 rebounds, dishing out five assists and stole twice in 32 minutes of action.

After six deadlocks and nine lead changes, the Knights finally pulled away slowly but surely, posting a 77-66 lead – thanks to the sniping of Bong Quinto and Nambatac.

“Alam ko naman ang Benilde, hindi yan susuko. Siguro sa simula, gustong magpasikat ng mga bata dahil homecourt namin ito, pero nung bumalik kami sa drawing board, dun kami nagising,” said Letran coach Jeff Napa.

Quinto wound up with 14 points and seven assists, Daryl Pascual had 12 points, and Jeo Ambohot posted 11 points, 12 boards and two blocks for Letran.

Naboa scored 17 points, while Clement Leutcheu had 12 points and eight rebounds for St. Benilde, who absorbed its fourth straight defeat against a lone win.

Meanwhile, La Salle Greenhills survived Letran’s repeated rallies and escaped with a 64-63 victory to remain unbeaten yesterday in the juniors basketball tournament.

Leading 64-59 in the final three minutes, the Greenies saw the Squires mount a comeback and pull within 64-63 on the effort of Keifer Cordero.

Luckily for the Greenies, the Squires ran out of time.

The win extended LSGH’s winning streak to five games, thus grabbing the solo lead.

Reigning titlist Malayan High School is the only other team with a clean spot having won its first four games.

Letran, meanwhile, skidded to seventh place with a 2-4 mark.

Albert Bordeos bannered LSGH with 14 points, while Jacob Lao chipped in 12 points aside from grabbing four rebounds.

Joel Cagulangan also produced a solid all-around performance with eight points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

“We just got lucky in the end. Still, we invested in hard work,” said LSGH coach Marvin Bienvenida.

The game was marked by seven lead changes and five deadlocks.

Though outrebounded, 63-46, the Greenies shot well from the outside with their starters combining for 43 points.

Enoch Valdez came off the bench and registered a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds.