MANILA, Philippines – After drawing first blood in the best-of-3 final series against San Beda College, Colegio de San Juan de Letran head coach Aldin Ayo looks to wrap things out in Game 2 on Tuesday, October 27 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
As Letran is now one step closer to its first NCAA title since 2005, Ayo would like to end San Beda’s 5-year reign with a sweep.
“I am expecting the same effort and same energy from San Beda,” Ayo said in the post-game interview. “But we are going to finish this off.”
Letran answered every basket that was made by San Beda with bigger shots to claim a 94-90 victory as pro-bound skipper Kevin Racal led the Muralla-based Knights with 28 makers to come along with 5 boards, 5 dimes and two steals.
Racal also spoiled San Beda's fourth-quarter rally by scoring a putback off his own miss with 40.3 ticks left to give Letran an 89-85 edge in the dying seconds of the contest.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game and it’s going to be a dogfight. We just have to be tough and grab this opportunity because not all players are given this opportunity,” Ayo stated.
Aside from Racal, Rey Nambatac also hauled 18 points, which included the bucket that cemented the final numbers on the scoreboard.
Racal’s fellow PBA draftee Mark Cruz contributed 17 points and converted 4 of his 7 attempts from downtown, while McJour Luib pitched in 16 markers for Letran.
On the other hand, San Beda is in an uncommon situation, having dropped the first game of the first round for the first time since 2009. That year San Sebastian College-Recoletos swept the red-and-white troop in the Finals to capture the NCAA basketball title. – Rappler.com