August 21, 2019
Ken Villapando shone as an Egay Macaraya-less San Sebastian College-Recoletos survived Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 102-101, in overtime in Season 95 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Villapando sank the go-ahead layup off Allyn Bulanadi’s pass on a fastbreak with 18.5 seconds left in extra period, ending the Stags’ three-game losing slide.
“I told them (players) that they just have to follow the game plan, win or lose. It’s just that they are hungry for a win,” said assistant coach Melo Banua.
San Sebastian moved up to No. 5 with an even 3-3 record.
The Stags showed grit in holding off the Knights notwithstanding a three-week layoff due to a series of game postponements.
San Sebastian had to regroup after wasting away a 17-point lead and giving out 61 free throws off 43 fouls in the game that saw seasoned guard RK Ilagan, JM Calma, Jessie Sumoda, Arjan Dela Cruz, Alex Desoyo and Anmar Cosari foul out.
“We’re offering this win to coach Egay. Even if he was not present, we’re here to take care of the team,” said Banua, a former ward of Macaraya at the Centro Escolar University.
Ilagan topscored with 22 points before exiting with 3:52 left in the extension period while veteran forward Bulanadi tallied 21 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Alvin Capobres contributed 19 points while Villapando added six markers, three of those in overtime.
San Sebastian enjoyed an early 42-25 lead but Letran, led by Larry Muyang, managed to force an overtime.
The Knights stole the advantage, 101-100, on Muyang’s undergoal basket with 48.3 ticks left before Villapando saved the day for the Stags.
Jerrick Balanza missed a three-pointer while Bonbon Battiller muffed a baseline jumper for Letran as time expired.
San Sebastian spoiled Muyang’s career effort of 32 points and 18 rebounds as well as Jerrick Balanza’s 21 markers and Fran Yu’s 13 points.
Letran, after a second straight defeat, stayed at No. 4 with a 5-3 slate.
Meanwhile, Perpetual Help athletic director Sammy Acaylar issued a statement on coach Frankie Lim’s status.
“Actually, the ex (executive) committee with the top management decided to have Frankie Lim on leave. I don’t know the reason behind that,” said Acaylar.
“He’s not (connected to the school). That’s the decision of our management,” he added.
The directive was released after Perpetual Help suffered a 102-56 beating to San Beda University last Friday.
Lim, a former multi-decorated coach of San Beda signed by Perpetual Help last season, led the Altas to a Final Four finish.
The Altas (2-5), now under interim coach Myk Saguiguit, are playing against Emilio Aguinaldo College (1-6)at press time.
Earlier in the juniors division, Letran downed San Sebastian, 72-64, while Perpetual beat EAC-Immaculate Conception Academy, 71-70.
The Squires and the Junior Altas’ records both improved to 4-5. The Staglets slid to 2-5 while the bottom-dwelling Brigadiers dropped to 1-7.
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