FilOil: Letran takes down San Beda for solo second in Group I


Posted at May 22 2023 06:42 PM

Kurt Reyson starred in Letran's win over San Beda. FilOil/Handout.
Kurt Reyson starred in Letran's win over San Beda. FilOil/Handout.

MANILA -- The Letran Knights got the better of arch-rivals San Beda Red Lions, 72-64, in their 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup clash on Monday afternoon at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Letran's victory, powered by Kurt Reyson, allowed the reigning NCAA champions to move to solo second in Group I of the preseason tournament. The Knights reversed a six-point halftime deficit to claim back-to-back wins and improve their record to 4-1.

"I'm very happy kasi for the last ilang games, 'di kami nananalo sa San Beda. Although Team B nila 'to, still, San Beda yan. At the end of the day, kung sino nanalo, masaya," said coach Rensy Bajar.

Letran had dropped games to their fierce rivals both in the NCAA Season 98 men's basketball tournament and the PBA D-League.

The Knights trailed, 54-56, heading into the final period but uncorked a pivotal 13-2 run to take control of the game. They led 67-58 with three minutes to go before the Red Lions closed the gap to five, 62-67, with under two minutes left in the contest.

Reyson took over at that point, scoring off a layup and a free throw to keep the Red Lions at bay. The fourth-year guard totaled 20 points, eight assists, two rebounds, and two steals, and was flanked by Deo Cuajao with 15 points and Joseph Nunag with 12 points.

"Masaya ako sa panalong 'to. Masaya ako sa players ko kung paano sila nag-step up," said Bajar after they claimed solo second.

On the other hand, Zane Jalbuena paced the shorthanded Red Lions with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three blocks, as they dropped to 1-3. 

In another game, St. Clare College of Caloocan kept its place at the top half of the Group II standings after putting down Centro Escolar University, 65-55.

Ryan Sual stepped up to the plate with 23 points and six rebounds to take charge from struggling lead guard Jimboy Estrada, while Megan Galang and Luiz Tapenio also added 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the Saints' fourth win in five games.

"Ang mahalaga sa'min dito is yung dulo e. Past two games namin, medyo nag-relax kami, so sabi ko lang sa mga bata, kailangang mag-execute kami. Malaking bagay na may nag-step up sa mga bata," said head coach Jinino Manansala as they survived a silent outing from Estrada who wound up with seven points in just eight minutes.

Jayson Puray was the lone player in double-digits for the 1-4 Scorpions with 11 points and five rebounds.

The scores:

Letran vs. San Beda

LETRAN 72 - Reyson 20, Cuajao 15, Nunag 12, Javillonar 7, Alarcon 5, Brillantes 5, Guarino 3, Tolentino 3, Ariar 2, Fajardo 0, Santos 0, Nunag 0

SAN BEDA 64 - Jalbuena 17, Alloso 13, Sajonia 15, Lina 6, Royo 4, Tagala 3, Etulle 3, Teruel 3

QUARTERS: 14-16, 28-34, 54-56, 72-64

St. Clare vs. CEU

ST. CLARE 65 - Sual 23, Galang 11, Tapenio 10, Estacio 9, Estrada 7, Yanes 2, Decano 2, Ndong 1, Acosta 0, Victoriano 0, Cabauatan 0, Kane 0, Yu 0

CEU 55 - Puray 11, Balogun 9, Santos 8, Bernabe 8, Tolentino 5, Anagbogu 5, Darbin 3, Penano 2, Malicana 2, Borromeo 2, Marcelo 2, Diaz 0, Joson 0, Ferrer 0, Reyes 0

QUARTERS: 16-19, 32-32, 47-43, 65-55