Letran makes quick work of Perpetual

Letran made quick work of Perpetual, 74-59, in the second round of the NCAA Season 98 men's basketball tournament Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Brent Paraiso of the Letran Knights attempts to drives past Jelo Razon of the Perpetual Altas (NCAA/GMA)

Brent Paraiso and Louie Sangalang led the Knights' balanced attack and breached the double-digit mark after a stronger second half, enabling the defending champions to take their fourth straight win and improve at 7-3 record.

Letran, which had a slow start in the first round, finally clawed its way back to its rightful position in the Top 4 of the leaderboard.

The Bonnie Tan-mentored squad is currently tied up with Lyceum, trailing league-leader College of St. Benilde (7-2) and second-seeded Jose Rizal University (5-2).

Paraiso finished with 16 points built on three triples along with seven rebounds, and three assists while Sangalang filled the stat sheet and had a double-double outing of 10 points on a 5-of-8 shooting and 10 rebounds to go with one assist, one steal, and one block.

King Caralipio, who joined forces with Paraiso earlier in the first half to reach a 37-32 lead, also chipped in nine points and five rebounds while Kurt Reyson contributed nine points and three rebounds.

Paolo Javillonar also made noise after some quiet games prior to Letran's recent win as he posted eight points, shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line, to go with 12 rebounds.

After a nip-and-tuck affair in the first half, third quarter saw a slower pace but Letran made use of its momentum and still led by as many as 10 points, 50-40, heading into the payoff period.

The Knights began to put some distance against the Altas come the final quarter where they broke away by as many as 28 points and never looked back at that point to virtually secure the win.

Perpetual, despite Jelo Razon and Rey Barcuma conniving all throughout the game, just couldn't put a stop to Letran's continuous assault even up to the final buzzer as it suffered a 15-point drubbing compared to its tight first-round clash.

Razon, for his part, paced the Altas, who slipped to their third straight defeat with a 4-6 slate, with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals while Barcuma had 11 points and six rebounds. Cedrick Abis and Marcus Nitura added seven points apiece with 10 and four rebounds, respectively.

Meanwhile, the supposed 12 noon matchup between San Beda (6-3) and Arellano (4-5) was postponed due to health and safety protocols. A new schedule has yet to be announced.

NCAA made the announcement on Monday, Oct. 17, while multiple reports disclosed that at least two Chiefs players tested positive for Covid-19.

Another huge adjustment had to be made as this could also affect Arellano's 3 p.m. game against Letran on Friday, Oct. 21.

The Scores:

LETRAN 74 -- Paraiso 16, Sangalang 10, Caralipio 9, Reyson 9, Javillonar 8, Yu 7, Olivario 3, Santos 2, Tolentino 2, Monje 2, Miclat 2, Go 2, Ariar 1, Guarino 1, Bautista 0.

PERPETUAL 59 -- Razon 13, Barcuma 11, Abis 7, Nitura 7, Boral 4, Ferreras 4, Martel 3, Flores 3, Movida 3, Egan 2, Orgo 2, Omega 0, Roque 0, Cuevas 0, Pagaran 0.

Quarters: 22-11, 37-33, 50-40, 74-59.