Letran Squires Soar Past Mapua Cardinals Behind Diamante's Heroics

Letran Squires Soar Past Mapua Cardinals Behind Diamante’s Heroics

In a stunning display of resilience, the Letran Squires secured a convincing 86-69 victory over the Mapua University Cardinals, halting their opponent’s four-game winning streak in a thrilling match at the NCAA Season 99 juniors’ basketball tournament held at the Filoil EcoOil Arena in San Juan City on Friday.

Trailing by a slim margin of 35-36 at halftime, Letran shifted the momentum of the game in their favor, largely thanks to the stellar performance of 6-foot-5 standout George Diamante. The co-Defensive Player of the Year from last season stepped up in the second half, propelling the Squires to a commanding 63-49 lead by the end of the third quarter, a lead they never relinquished throughout the remainder of the game.

Diamante proved to be the catalyst for Letran’s success, delivering an outstanding performance with 26 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block. His pivotal contributions on the court were instrumental in securing Letran’s fourth victory of the season against only one loss. Notably, Diamante showcased his prowess earlier in the week with a standout performance against Lyceum of the Philippine University, where he led Letran to an 88-79 triumph with 21 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, and four steals.

Despite the Cardinals’ valiant effort, led by Lawrence Mangubat with 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists, Mapua University was unable to overcome Letran’s relentless offensive onslaught.

In other matches, the San Beda University Red Cubs narrowly edged out the College of Saint Benilde Blazers with a 64-62 victory, fueled by stellar performances from Drei Lorenzo and Hendric Vailoces. Lorenzo contributed 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one block, while Vailoces added 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals, securing San Beda’s third win of the season.