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Tankoua, Red Lions repeat over Knights


Games Thursday

(Filoil Flying V Centre, San Juan)

10 a.m.- LPU vs EAC (jrs)
12 nn.- JRU vs MU (jrs)
2 p.m.- LPU vs EAC (srs)
4 p.m.- JRU vs MU (srs)

San Beda fended off a mighty Letran comeback in the fourth quarter and eked out a 74-68 win to solidify its grip of the second spot in the 94th NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

The Lions blew a 22-point lead with over six minutes left in the final period as the Knights uncorked a 23-2 juggernaut that cut it to 69-68 with 16.8 seconds remaining.

With Robert Bolick fouling out, San Beda went to Franz Abuda, who split his charities, and Jomari Presbitero, who plucked a crucial offensive rebound that resulted to him being fouled and hitting a pair of pressure-packed foul shots to seal the deal.

Bonbon Batiller clanked a three that further dashed the Knights’ hope of completing a dramatic fightback.

“If we’d lost that game, I would have taken the blame because it was really my fault,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.

After a closely-fought first half when they led by just three points, 35-32, the Lions then threw a defensive blanket on the Knights in the third quarter when the former outscored the latter, 25-10, to go into the final canto with a 60-42 advantage.

San Beda made it a 69-45 lead and it looked it will be cruise control for them for the reigning back-to-back titlist.

But JP Calvo and John Quinto conspired in a massive onslaught that saw Letran closing the gap to within a point.

It turned out its last as Abuda and Presbitero delivered the knockout blows.

The Scores:

The boxscores:

San Beda 74 — Tankoua 19, Bolick 13, Mocon 12, Abuda 7, Doliguez 7, Oftana 4, Presbitero 4, Cuntapay 3, Nelle 3, Soberano 2, Canlas 0, Cabanag 0, Carino 0, Tongco 0.

Letran 68 — Quinto 19, Calvo 16, Muyang 11, Fajarito 10, Batiller 6, Ambohot 3, Taladua 3, Balagasay 0, Yu 0, Agbong 0, Celis 0, Mandreza 0, Galvelo 0.

Quarterscores: 16-15; 35-32; 60-42; 74-68.