By Jerome Lagunzad
(The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – Arellano vs Perpetual (J)
10 a.m. – JRU vs EAC (J)
12 noon – Arellano vs Perpetual (S)
2 p.m. – JRU vs EAC (S)
4 p.m. – Letran vs San Sebastian (S)
6 p.m. – Letran vs San Sebastian (J)
Letran is starting to flash its deadly form of old and that could spell nothing less but big trouble for its future rivals.
The Golden Stags of host San Sebastian could exactly get a clear and up-close view of that today when the streaking Knights gun for their fourth straight victory in the resumption of the NCAA seniors basketball action at The Arena in San Juan City.
Tip off is at 4 p.m., with Letran (4-3) aiming to tighten its grip on the third spot and gather enough momentum ahead of what looms to be a grinding encounter with pace-setting Lyceum (7-0) this Friday.
The Knights, however, could not afford to look that far ahead since they will be going up against another dangerous squad in the form of the Golden Stags (3-3), who currently share a hold of the fourth spot and are riding high on a two-game winning streak.
“Nakukuha na namin ‘yung rhythm at kumpiyansa,” said star wingman Rey Nambatac. “Magandang chance ‘to para sa amin.
Kailangan ready lang kami kasi ‘yun nga, andito na ‘yung momentum namin.”
But it wasn’t just the lefty Nambatac who’s leading the way for the Knights. Fellow veteran Bong Quinto finally showed glimpses of his true potential while unheralded forward King Carilipio made his presence felt in Letran’s 63-61 squeaker over Perpetual Help last week.
“Nagpo-focus na ‘yung defense ng kalaban kay Ray so naisip ko na siyempre kailangan ko makatulong. Siguro nagkataon lang na sa’kin dumating ‘yung bola,” said the 6-foot-2 Quinto who banked in the eventual game-winning lay-up in the closing seconds.
Their stinging 74-81 loss to archrival, defending champion San Beda, last exactly three weeks ago, jolted Letran’s back to its senses, admitted Quinto. “Sila yung gumising sa amin para magkaroon kami ng chance,” he said.
Meanwhile, four other contenders try to get back on the right track, with Arellano University and Perpetual Help squaring off at 12 noon followed by the 2 p.m. showdown between Jose Rizal University and Emilio Aguinaldo College.