Letran's Reneford Ruaya (center) goes for the rebound against Mapua. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines -- Letran went to the high-scoring pair of Kevin Racal and Mark Cruz as it crushed Mapua, 79-67, in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City on Wednesday.
Racal led his team with 24 points, while Cruz scattered 23 including 13 in the second quarter when the Knights turned things around.
The victory was Letran's first this season after dropping their first two outings.
"I was more concerned motivating the team because Mark and I need help," Racal said after the victory.
Unlike in the first two games where they were humiliated with a pair of 34-point losses, the Cardinals were more competitive as they held back the Knights from blowing them down.
Mapua though didn't have enough fire power to mount a fightback, and thus dropped to its third straight defeat.
Letran 79- Racal 24, Cruz 23, Nambatac 11, Ruaya 8, Publico 4, Castro 2, Saldua 2, Quinto 2, Gabawan 2, Dela Pena 1, Calvo 0, Tambeling 0, Luib 0, Apreku 0, Singontiko 0
Letran 67- Saitanan 17, Cantos 12, Biteng 9, Eriobu 9, Canaynay 8, Estrella 4, Isit 2, Gabo 2, Tubiano 2, Serrano 2, Galoso 0
Quarterscores: 16-15; 42-32; 64-52; 79-67