NCAA: Daniel Padilla dazzles as Letran Squires annihilate JRU by 38

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

Published February 10, 2024 4:50pm

Updated February 10, 2024 5:04pm

Colegio de San Juan de Letran flaunted its depth against Jose Rizal University, but it was Daniel Padilla who shone the brightest to lead their 102-64 victory on Saturday in the NCAA Season 99 juniors basketball tournament.

The 18-year-old Padilla, who was among the holdovers from the Squires’ Season 98 championship team, top-scored the squad with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field to go along with four rebounds, three assists, and three steals. 

Syrex Silorio also dropped crucial numbers with his 14 markers as the Squires opened their title defense bid on a rousing note and improved to 1-0. The Light Bombers, meanwhile, dropped to 0-1. 

Letran hardly felt the absence of last season’s Finals MVP Andy Gemao and former team captain Emman Anabo, who have both moved on from Letran to pursue their careers elsewhere. 

Despite the key losses, the Squires showed they may just be stronger than ever. 

Head coach Allen Ricardo injected four rookies to his starting lineup with freshmen Rex Villanueva, Ric Golez, David De Leon, and Jhuniel Dela Rama joining holdover Justine Hugo as the starters. 

The four delivered for Ricardo with Villanueva dropping 13 points in his debut while Golez and De Leon each tallied 10 markers to power their 38-point rout. Dela Rama, on the other hand, put up eight rebounds, three assists, and two points in 12 minutes of action. 

Ricardo, though, was far from satisfied. 

“I always tell the boys na it’s not just about winning, it’s all about how you play the game,” Ricardo said in the post-game interview.

“Me as a coach, ang ultimate goal ko is to help them go to the next level, that’s why I push them hard. Hindi lang enough ‘yung victory na ‘to. I know it matters going to the Final Four, but at the end of the day, lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila na hindi niyo maloloko ‘yung mga tao on how you perform the game.”

(As a coach, my ultimate goal is to help them go to the next level, that’s why I push them hard. This victory is not enough. I know it matters going to the Final Four, but at the end of the day, I always tell them that they cannot fool the people on how you perform the game.)

Bien Pinzon paced the Light Bombers with 19 points, six rebounds, and two assists while Cj Satparam added eight. 

Scores:

Letran 102- Padilla 16, Silorio 14, Villanueva 13, Manalili 11, Golez 10, De Leon 10, Diamante 6, Reyes 6, Alforque 4, Gazzingan 4, Dela Rama 2, Baliling 2, Navarro 2, Hugo 2, Cruz 0.

JRU 64- Pinzon 19, Satparam 8, Enal 7, Rivera 6, To 5, Abequibel 5, Marin 4, Pineda 4, Taparan 4, Castillo 2, Guarino 0, Natividad 0, Correa 0, Capistrano 0, Almario 0.

Quarters: 24-12; 48-26; 77-48; 102-64

—JKC, GMA Integrated News

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