Fran Yu sank a timely three-pointer late in the fourth period to help lift Letran over a gritty Mapua side, 67-62, in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City

Fran Yu of Letran (NCAA/GMA)

In the rematch of the Season 97 Finals which saw a nip-and-tuck affair all throughout, Yu, despite enduring an apparent discomfort in the fourth quarter, turned on his clutch mode and fired a three-pointer from the far right wing with less than a minute to go which enabled the Knights to chalk up a 3-1 record.

Yu, who sparked the Knights’ 10-0 run in the final quarter, finished with 15 points built on three treys along with five assists and three steals while Paolo Javillonar had 14 points.

King Caralipio showed who’s boss in the paint and hauled eight points and 11 rebounds while Kurt Reyson chipped in eight points for Letran as well.

“Hindi lang physical, very physical game. We’re expecting that pero kami [ang parang] natalo sa huli dahil meron kaming two players na na-thrown out sa endgame,” said Knights head coach Bonnie Tan, referring to Brent Paraiso and Javillonar as the two were sent to the dugout.

Paraiso was slapped with a disqualifying foul which resulted in an ejection midway through the fourth quarter while Javillonar followed suit with a bad landing in his right foot after a scrappy entanglement with Jopet Soriano.

Louie Sangalang was also called for a technical foul due to taunting, clapping his hands after a Mapua turnover with 13.8 left, and exhausted all of his personal fouls late in the game.

The Cardinals, who were fighting toe-to-toe against their Finals rivals, saw a glimmer of hope after Arvin Gamboa, who was struggling from the field on a total 1-of-12 shooting and missing six attempts from beyond the arc, drained a three-pointer when it mattered the most with 2:20 remaining.

Mapua took momentum on that Gamboa three as Carl Lacap, who paced the Cardinals with 12 points and three assists, took charge and capped the Cardinals’ mini run with back-to-back baskets to cut the deficit down to two, 61-59.

But Yu’s presence alone proved to be the spoiler as he took the wild three-pointer shot against Lacap with 46.7 ticks to go to regain a 64-59 lead.

Soriano’s putback off a Gamboa miss in the next possession pumped life for the Cardinals with 42.1 seconds left but Reyson and Kevin Santos iced the game with a couple of free throws for the win.

Jasper Salenga also added 11 points to help Lacap as the Cardinals fell to a 1-4 slate.

Source: Manila Bulletin (