WANGS Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran battled back from a 24-point deficit and stunned Marinerong Pilipino- San Beda, 93-87, in overtime on Thursday in Game 1 of the Philippine Basketball Association Aspirants’ Cup semifinals at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
Kurt Reyson took over in extra time, hitting seven straight points that put the Knights ahead to stay and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
It’s the second straight OT win for the Knights, who also worked overtime to beat the Centro Escolar University Scorpions on Tuesday to reach the Final Four.
“Uulitin ko lang na Praise God kasi binigyan kami ulit ng pag-asa na manalo. Puro ganito ang game namin pero pasalamat kami dahil nao-overcome namin ‘yung ganitong trial, especially against a very strong team like San Beda,” Letran coach Rensy Bajar said.
“Ang sama ng simula namin. Pero ‘yung mga players namin, kumbaga sa ilang taon na, they’re born-winners,” he said. “Alam nila paano maglaro sa ganitong sitwasyon. Para sa amin, depensa lang talaga.”
Reyson scored 32 points including 21 in the fourth quarter to keep Letran in the game.
Kevin Santos tallied 17 points and 13 rebounds, Vince Cuajao added 12 while Kyle Tolentino chipped in 10 and hit the game-tying triple in the last five seconds in regulation to force overtime.
It was a frustrating defeat for the Red Lions, who blew an early 34-10 lead and a 44-28 advantage at the half.
Jacob Cortez led San Beda with 24 points.