NCAA: Letran arranges finals showdown with Benilde


Posted at Nov 29 2022 06:08 PM

Contributed photo.
Louie Sangalang of Letran in action against Lyceum in the NCAA Season 98 Final 4. Contributed photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- For the third season in a row, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights are headed to the NCAA finals.

The Knights outlasted Lyceum of the Philippines University, 67-58, in their Final 4 showdown in NCAA Season 98 on Tuesday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan. 

They will face off against the top-seeded De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) in the best-of-3 finals that starts on December 4 at the Araneta Coliseum.

King Caralipio was among the heroes for the Knights, as he drilled the three-pointer that gave them the lead for good, 53-50, with 8:21 left to play in the contest. Caralipio finished with a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds on top of five assists in the game.

The Pirates were still within striking distance, 60-55, after Shawn Umali's split at the line with 2:23 to go. But Lyceum had no answer for Brent Paraiso down the stretch: the veteran scored Letran's last seven points, including the floater that pushed the lead to 10 points, 65-55, with just 63 seconds to go. 

A Renzo Navarro free throw and a bucket by Enoch Valdez got Lyceum within seven points, 65-58, but they ran out of time as Paraiso's two free throws iced the game with 41.9 seconds to play. 

Fran Yu led the Knights with 11 points, while Paraiso finished with nine markers to match the effort of Louie Sangalang.

Valdez had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the third-seeded Pirates, while McLaude Guadana contributed 14 points. 

The Pirates shot themselves in the foot by making just nine of their 21 free throws in the defeat.

Letran won both of their elimination round meetings against CSB, taking an 81-75 win in the first round and a 74-66 victory in the second.

The scores:

LETRAN 67 -- Yu 11, Caralipio 10, Paraiso 9, Sangalang 9, Javillonar 8, Reyson 7, Olivario 6, Monje 4, Go 3, Ariar 0, Guarino 0.

LPU 58 -- Valdez 15, Guadana 14, Bravo 6, Larupay 6, Montano 5, Umali 3, Penafiel 3, Navarro 2, Barba 2, Vinoya 1, Villegas 1, Cunanan 0.

Quarters: 13-17, 30-28, 50-45, 67-58.