MANILA, Philippines – The Letran Knights came away with a cohesive defense and snappy offense en route to snapping the San Beda Red Lions’ rare 32-game winning streak via a cardiac 65-64 victory late Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena Pasay City.
The stirring win, which pushed the Knights closer to slamming home the 95th NCAA Seniors’ Basketball Championship, showed a chink in the Red Lions’ armor as they appeared invincible all throughout the season.
Aside from Tuesday’s loss to Letran, San Beda tasted its last defeat more than a year ago particularly last August 21, 2018, in the form of a 66-73 loss to Lyceum.
And it was second-year playmaker Fran Yu who stepped up in the clutch for the Knights’ heartstopping win as he scored 10 points, six assists, three steals, and three rebounds.
On the other hand, Bonbon Batiller and Balanza chipped in 12 and 10 markers, respectively.
Evan Nelle top-scored for the Red Lions with 20 points while James Canlas and Season MVP Calvin Oftana added 11 markers apiece in the loss.
The Knights won two knockout games last week just to make it to the championship round before they hand the Red Lions a taste of defeat once more.
Game 2 of their best-of-three series is scheduled on Friday at the same venue. (Lloyd Tagbago/IAMIGO/CNS)