Letran wallops JRU to open NCAA jrs basketball title-retention bid

MANILA: Despite the departure of two key players, defending champion Letran had an easy time disposing of Jose Rizal University (JRU), 102-64, at the start of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 99 juniors basketball tournament at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City on Saturday.

Daniel Padilla led the Squires with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, hauled down four rebounds and issued three assists.

Syrex Silorio chipped in 14 points.

Andy Gemao, last season’s Finals Most Valuable Player, has moved to the United States while former team captain Emman Anabo is now with Adamson University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

In other matches, Mapua scored an 82-78 victory over Arellano while Perpetual Help dumped Lyceum, 89-75.

Cebu’s Lawrence Mangubat produced 20 points while Aki Valina added 13 for the Mapua Red Robins, who led 53-43 at the half.

‘Thankful ako binigyan ako kumpiyansa ni coach (I am thankful for the coach’s confidence in me),” Mangubat said, refe
rring to Yong Garcia.

Lebron Jhames Daep, the 6-foot-7 son of Rommel who was a member of the five-time NCAA champion San Sebastian College-Recoletos in the 1990s, led the Perpetual Junior Altas with 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals and a block.

‘Nagpapasalamat po ako andyan siya para suportahan ako kaya pinagbubutihan ko (I am thankful that he is there to support me so I try to perform well),’ the 17-year-old Daep said of his father, who left the Philippine Basketball Association in 2003 after being drafted by Purefoods (now Magnolia) in 1999.

Captain Amiel Acido contributed 14 points for Perpetual, which padded a 48-45 halftime lead to 73-55 at the end of the third quarter.

‘Win every practice, win every game. The real battle is in practice. What you do there, that will be the goal this season,” Perpetual coach Joph Cleopas said.

Lyceum will try to bounce back when it faces San Sebastian at 8 a.m. on Feb. 16.

Other matches that day will pit Perpetual against Emilio Aguinaldo College
(10 a.m.), Letran against San Beda (12 noon), College of Saint Benilde against Mapua (2:30 p.m.) and Arellano against JRU (4:30 p.m.).

Source: Philippines News Agency

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