By: By Jerome Lagunzad
Arellano University’s sorry loss turned out to be Letran’s big gain.
Lanky big man Jeo Ambohot scored a go-ahead putback with 3.3 seconds to play as the Knights staved off the Chiefs in a pulsating finish yesterday, 70-68, to keep their NCAA seniors basketball title campaign alive at The Arena in San Juan City.
Pro-bound wingman Rey Nambatac sizzled with a game-high of 25 points, spiked by four triples, on top of nine rebounds and three assists but it was the 6-foot-6 Ambohot who came through with the most decisive bucket to help Letran survive a hard-fighting Arellano side in their knockout affair.
More importantly, the Knights earned the right to face host San Sebastian Golden Stags on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena for the fourth and final spot in the stepladder playoff round.
“Kailangan talaga namin maglaro ng A-game namin against Arellano kahit wala si (Kent) Salado,” said Letran coach Jeff Napa, heaving a big sigh of relief after overcoming a stubborn Arellano crew which continued to punch above its weight despite the absence of its top guard due to a knee injury.
Diminutive guard Levi Dela Cruz assumed the scoring role left by Salado as he finished with a team-high 18 points, including four triples, while backup Rence Alcoriza banged in 13 of his 16 points in the fourth period, including a pair of freebies off a Letran forward Bong Quinto foul that put Arellano ahead at 68-67 with 7.6 seconds to play.