SAN JUAN City – Defending champion San Beda College took down erstwhile fellow undefeated squad Arellano University, 90-81, in continuing action from the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at the San Juan Arena Saturday afternoon (July 12). The Red Lions now tote a league-best 4-0 win-loss card while the Chiefs fell to 2-1.
San Beda hoped to put away the game early by erecting an 18-point lead midway through the third period on an Anthony Semerad triple, 56-38. Suddenly, SBC center Ola Adeogun lapsed into foul trouble and that allowed the Chiefs to stage a mighty rally spanning the third and fourth cantos.
Levi Hernandez and Jio Jalalon spearheaded the Chiefs’ charge and big man Dioncee Holts frolicked in Adeogun’s absence. Despite Adeogun’s return, Holts scored on an undergoal stab to cut their deficit to a single point entering the final two minutes, 79-80.
Adeogun and Baser Amer responded with back to back field goals to ease the pressure, 84-79. John Pinto’s basket with 1:09 to go proved to be Arellano’s last gasp as time was not on their and still trailing, 81-84.
Amer delivered the knockout blow in the ensuing play for an 86-81 tally and 46 ticks remaining. The rally zapped the energy from the Chiefs as they began to miss their shots, forcing to give up fouls to buy some time and Amer and Arthur de la Cruz converting to preserve the win.
De la Cruz returned from a one-game suspension and quickly made up for lost time by joing Amer and Ryusei Koga in giving the Red Lions the first period, 24-17. Rookie Jayvee Mocon and skipper Kyle Pascual then helped stretch the advantage by halftime, 47-35.
Winning coach Boyet Fernandez rued the fact that the team did not follow the game plan. “We were beaten for the rebounds and Arellano is a good fastbreaking team. Good thing the players stepped up in the fourth period,” said Coach Fernandez.
Amer had another brilliant performance with 18 points and seven assists. De la Cruz was just as impressive with 17 points, six rebounds and four steals.
Hernandez paced the Chiefs with 20 markers. Jalalon followed with 17 points, six assists and four steals.
In Juniors Division play, the Red Cubs made it a double celebration by crushing the then-undefeated Braves, 99-66. The Red Cubs rose to 3-1 while the Braves fell to 2-1.
SBC raced to a 7-0 lead only to allow the Braves to tie the count at 7-7. The Red Cubs then responded with an 11-0 blast and never looked back from there, 18-7.
Joshua Andrei Caracut led the winners with 16 points and seven rebounds. Marc Joper Diputado followed with 15 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
John Zamora was the high man for the Braves with 16 points. Guilmar de la Torre chipped in 13.
How They Scored:
First Game (Juniors)
SAN BEDA-RIZAL (99) – Caracut 16, Diputado 15, Furaque 11, Alas 9, Abatayo 8, Bordeos 8, Abuhijle 8, Framil 5, Velasquez 5, Decapia 4, Zamora 4, Geralao 3, Alfaro 3, Apolto 0, Etrata 0.
ARELLANO (66) – Zamora 16, de la Torre 13, de Lara 12, Strait 9, Juico 4, Bataller 4, Dulatre 2, Enriquez 2, Manaloto 2, Balbarona 2, Clemente 0, Cabahug 0, Gonzalo 0.
Period Scores: 25-13, 59-33, 80-47, 99-66.
Second Game (Seniors)
SAN BEDA (90) – Amer 18, de la Cruz 17, Adeogun 13, Koga 8, A. Semerad 8, Tongco 7, Pascual 6, Mocon 5, D. Semerad 4, Cabanag 2, Mendoza 2, Sara 0, Abude 0.
ARELLANO (81) – Hernandez 20, Jalalon 17, Holts 9, Caperal 8, Pinto 6, Agovida 5, Nicholls 4, Enriquez 4, Salcedo 3, Ciriacruz 2, Cadavis 2, Bangga 1, Gumaru 0.
Period Scores: 24-17, 47-35, 64-54, 90-81.