SAN JUAN, Houston Filipino Restaurant — The Collegio de San juan de Letran staved off a tough challenge from NCAA Season 95 hosts Arellano University to take their first win, 81-72, on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Led by stalwart Jerrick Balanza, the Knights were able to escape the upset and bounced back from their loss against the LPU Pirates in their opening game.
Letran took the lead early, finishing the opening canto with the lead, 23-16.
But the Chiefs were able to ride a strong second quarter behind the offense of Rence Alcoriza and Kent Salado.
By halftime, it was Arellano with the advantage, 40-36.
The squads went back-and-forth from there but it was ultimately a second half takeover by Balanza that caused Arellano's downfall.
Returning from a layoff because of his brain tumor, Balanza simply took the Letran team on his back.
He scored 11 straight points late in the fourth quarter to seal the deal for the Knights.
Letran improves to a 1-1 slate while Arellano drops to 0-2.