MANILA, Philippines - The Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights held off a spirited 2nd half rally from the College of St. Benilde Blazers, winning 72-60 to improve their record to 14-3 and eliminate the Blazers from the Final 4 race in Season 87 of the NCAA.
The Knights were in control of the game in the 1st half, holding the Blazers to only 5 points in the opening period.
But Carlo Lastimosa and Luis Sinco took advantage of several Letran turnovers in the 3rd quarter to put the Blazers back in the game. CSB was briefly able to take the lead, 37-36, off two free throws from Alison Carlos.
The Knights once again took control in the fourth period thanks to Kevin Alas, who spurred his team to a 7-0 run to begin the quarter as Letran took a 9-point lead, 54-45.
CSB would threaten once again after Paolo Taha canned 2 charities, 54-52, but back-up guard Mark Cruz came to Letran's rescue by hitting a three-pointer to keep St. Benilde at bay.
The Blazers would not come closer than 6 points afterwards, and a circus lay-up by Cruz with a little over 1:30 left sealed the win for Letran.
Their victory keeps the Knights' hopes of taking a twice-to-beat advantage alive. Meanwhile, the Blazers are now out of Final 4 contention with a 5-11 record.