Knights go for NCAA holy grailRed Lions see red, determined to fight back
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2019 - 12:00am

Games today (MOA Arena)

1 p.m. – San Beda vs. LPU (Jrs.)

4 p.m. – Letran vs San Beda (Srs.)

Letran will try to finish what it has started – upset bid – as it goes for the jugular against a San Beda side expected to bounce back strong today in Game Two of the best-of-three 95th NCAA basketball finals at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

Drawing strength from diminutive but big-hearted Fran Yu and their rock-solid defense, the Knights stole Game One, 65-64, Tuesday to move on the cusp of snaring their first crown since their last title run four seasons ago.

Game Two is at 4 p.m. while a decider, if necessary, is Tuesday.

“I told them not to be overconfident and take advantage of this,” said Letran coach Bonnie Tan, who is on his first finals stint in the NCAA. “We also have to stay focused by feeling not too high and not too low and finish what we started.

Yu, a 21-year-old sophomore, is expected to carry the fight anew for Letran after he came through with the biggest plays in the opener.

And Yu, who will be awarded the league’s Most Improved Player in simple awarding ceremony today, said he would not let the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip away.

“This is our chance to win a championship and we will do our best to get Game Two,” said Yu, who almost left the team early this year before eventually deciding to return.

San Beda mentor Boyet Fernandez, for his part, said being denied a sweep could be a blessing in disguise.

“The pressure of getting a sweep takes a toll on the players. I’m glad the monkey is off our backs now,” said Fernandez. “But I believe in my team and I know we are capable of coming back and making the right adjustments.”

It also didn’t help that the rust factor obviously affected the Lions, who missed the three-point shots that they normally make.

The most devastating miss came with seconds to go when league MVP Calvin Oftana muffed what could be the game-winning three.

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