Knights: 8 to 1

CSJL Knights gained their 8th win yesterday in the expense of the UPHDS Altas, 66-54. Here are some of today’s news clips:


Knights whip Altas for 8th win

The Manila Times Correspondent

Defending champion Letran College repulsed University of Perpetual Help Dalta System, 66-54, on Monday, gaining a playoff for the last semifinal slot in the 82nd National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

With the win, 16-time NCAA titlist Letran regained a share of the lead with idle San Beda College on identical 8-1 win-loss cards. Both the Knights and Red Lions need just one more win to formally enter the Final Four.

Letran started slow against Perpetual Help. Star guards Boyet Bautista and Aaron Aban, who both attended the Philippine Basketball Association’s rookie camp earlier in the day, appeared fatigued and dragged the team along with them.

That allowed the undermanned Altas to tie the game six times in the first two quarters and even lead, 33-27 at halftime.

Bautista and Dennis Daa, however, combined to pull the Knights ahead in the third period, and they were never threatened from there.

“If we want to go to the next level, we have to start strong. We should not be slow event at the start,” said Letran coach Louie Alas.

“This is one of the games that I am not satisfied with their performance,” added Alas, who is seeking his second straight title with the Knights.

Despite attending the pro league training camp, Bautista finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. The 6-foot-3 Aban scored 10 on top of 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

The Altas, who came with only with nine players, failed to sustain their spirited play in the first half. They led 40-37, but Aban and Baustista scored back-to-back baskets to grab the upper hand for the Knights, 47-42 at the end of the third quarter.

Without forwards Vladimir Joe and Alvin Manalang in the fold, Perpetual Help could only watch helplessly as Letran dropped a 9-2 run to post its biggest lead, 56-45, still 8 minutes remaining in the match.

Joe, a 6-foot-4 power forward, was nursing an injured ligament on his left knee.

Virgilio Manuel topscored for the Altas with 11 points followed by Conrad Bauzon with 10 and nine points for Sang Lee.


Knights ride past Altas, share lead

By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 08/08/2006

Letran went to rookie Fiel Daa when its veterans sputtered in the early going as the defending champions pulled off a 66-54 victory over the Perpetual Help Altas yesterday to regain a share of the lead with San Beda in the 82nd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Daa came through with a season-high 14 points, including eight in the third quarter when the Knights mounted their comeback from a 27-33 deficit at the half to seize control at 47-42 at the end of the period.

Boyet Bautista and Aaron Aban, two of the top prospects in the coming PBA Rookie Draft, struggled early but settled down in the fourth quarter where they combined for 12 points to seal the Muralla-based cagers’ eighth victory in nine games for a share of the lead with the Red Lions.

However, observers Bautista and Aban held back on their game early on to conserve energy for the PBA rookie training camp late yesterday at the Philsports Arena.

Bautista, in fact, made only six of the 17 shots he took although he still wound up with 14 points. Aban, on the other hand, went three-of-11 from the field and finished with 10 points.

But those hardly mattered for Letran coach Louie Alas.

Another rookie, Virgilio Manuel, led the Altas with 11 points but Perpetual Help’s top guns failed to deliver the goods expected of them.

Khiel Misa, the league’s current leading scorer with an average of 18.2 points, struggled with just seven points. Worse, Vladimir Joe sat out the game due to an MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury.

In the other seniors game, last year’s runner-up Philippine Christian U trounced St. Benilde, 79-70, to remain at third place with a 7-2 (win-loss) slate.

It was the Blazers’ eighth setback against a win.


Letran back on top with San Beda

Knights beat Altas for 8th win


DEFENDING CHAMPION Letran College moved a step closer from claiming a semifinal slot as the Knights hacked out a 66-54 victory over University of Perpetual Help yesterday in the NCAA basketball tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Pro-bound Boyet Bautista and rookie Dino Daa starred for the Knights as they delivered the knockout punches in the final five minutes to tie San Beda for the lead once again at 8-1.

Bautista and Daa finished with 14 points apiece, apart from combining for 13 rebounds and five assists.

Power forward Aaron Aban, who also attended the PBA rookie camp earlier in the day at the Philsports Complex along with Bautista, also produced decent numbers, tallying 10 points, six boards and five assists as the Knights reaffirmed their mastery over the Altas.

The Knights and Red Lions need only to win one of their remaining five games to advance into the Final Four.

In the other senior match, Philippine Christian University also boosted its Final Four bid with a 79-70 win over St. Binelde. The win was PCU’s seventh in 9 starts

Despite the win, Letran coach Louie Alas was from satisfied.

“We still lack mental toughness and we were passive. If we keep on playing this kind of game, we won’t be able to get into the next level,” rued Alas. “Sabi ko sa kanila, hindi pwedeng opensa lang. We also need to step up defensively.”

It was a twinkill for PCU as the Baby Dolphins crushed La Salle Greenies, 83-56, to grab solo second at 6-2 in the high school division.

The Knights trailed 37-40 in the third but the 5-foot-7 Bautista came through with a big basket that touched off a 10-2 run for a 47-42 lead.

The Altas, however, battled back, engaging the Knights in a torrid shootout to cut Letran’s lead to 54-56. But the Knights tightened up their defenses in the next five minutes to silence the Altas while exploding for 10 straight points to seal the win.

The Altas absorbed their seventh loss in nine matches, putting their semifinal bid in peril.

The loss was doubly painful for the Altas as they will miss the services of skipper Vladymir Joe the rest of the season due to a foot injury.

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