(Sports) Letran Knights end 10-year title drought in NCAA

October 30, 2015 11:15 am 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Oct. 29 (PNA) – Letran ended its decade-long title drought and San Beda’s five-year reign with an 85-82 overtime win in the winner-take-all Game Three Thursday evening in the 91st NCAA men’s basketball championship at the jampacked Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

With their main backer, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao cheering from the sideline, the Knights gave their best behind heroics of PBA-bound Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal as well as unlikely hero Jomari Sollano to bring home their 17th overall NCAA title.

”Enough of the pain. It’s now our turn,” said head coach Aldin Ayo, a member of the Letran’s champion team in 1999.

Racal topscored with 23 points and Cruz drilled in 14, most of them in the second half, while Sollano added 19 markers, including a baseline jumper and a free throw that put the Knights ahead, 84-82, with six seconds left in extra period.

San Beda’s last chance to reverse the outcome faded away due to double-lane violation when Sollano missed his second freethrow with the possession arrow pointed to the Letran Knights.

The Red Lions sent the game into overtime via a blistering 8-0 run that tied the game at 75-all.

The Knights opened the series with a close 94-90 victory in Game One while the Red Lions bounced back with a 68-61 decision to force a do-or-die Game Three. (PNA)

SCS/JFM

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