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 2023 PBA Aspirants’ Cup semifinals at Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
Kurt Reyson took over in extra time, hitting seven straight points that gave the Knights 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.
“We praise God for giving us another chance to win. We have a lot of games like these, but we’re grateful that we’re able to overcome this trial, especially against a very strong team like San Beda,” said Letran coach Rensy Bajar in Filipino.
“We had a bad start. But our players, they’ve been playing a while, and they’re born winners. They know how to play in these kinds of situations. We just relied on our defense.
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.
Wangs Strikers-Letran 93 – Reyson 32, Santos 17, Cuajao 12, Tolentino 10, Javillonar 8, Fajardo 6, Ariar 6, Morales 2, Go 0, Alarcon 0, Guarino 0, Monje 0.
Marinero-San Beda 87 – Cortez 24, Andrada 13, Visser 10, Jopia 10, Payosing 9, Cuntapay 8, Gallego 5, Alfaro 3, Royo 3, Puno 2, Tagle 0.
Quarterscores: 10-25, 28-44, 55-61, 81-81, 93-87 (OT).
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