SAN JUAN City – Champions rose and fell in what could be the most explosive day thus far in the 2015 FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup Saturday (May 30) at the San Juan Arena. Reigning NAASCU champion Centro Escolar University provided the loudest noise by shocking defending champion De La Salle University, 93-78, while NCAA rulers San Beda College downed CeSAFI kingpin Southwestern University, 71-66.
Scoreless in the first three periods, guard JK Casino displayed uncanny shooting wizardry as he torched the Green Archers for four triples en route to 14 points that erected the Scorpions’ biggest lead, 79-62. Casino was not yet finished as he added one more triple to stop DLSU’s mini run of seven unanswered points, 82-69, and the Scorpions coasted to the victory.
The Scorpions made their move in the third period. Jeron Teng put the Green Archers ahead for the last time, 49-48, but CEU closed out the period on a 17-9 flurry powered by Aaron Jeruta, Rodrigue Ebondo and Samboy de Leon.
It was not exactly the best of starts for the Scorpions as starters de Leon, Casino Alfred Batino and Joseph Celso lapsed into foul trouble. In the end, the gamble of Coach Edgar Macaraya to keep them in the ballgame paid off, especially with Casino who was eventually named as the Freego Best Player.
Jason Perkins canned three triples to push DLSU to a jackrabbit start, 10-0. The Green Archers maintained their twin-digit lead, last at 37-27, until the Scorpions scored the last nine points of the first half to threaten by a mere point and grab momentum entering the third canto, 36-37.
“JK has something to prove, if you remember he missed the shot against San Beda that should have placed us in the finals of last year’s tournament,” said Coach Macaraya. “The foul trouble really made it difficult but I’m glad everyone stepped up and contributed.”
Aaron Jeruta came off the bench to pace CEU with 19 points, including a field goal at the final buzzer. Ebondo also had a monster output of 15 points and 17 rebounds while de Leon chipped in 13.
Overall, the Scorpions hit 12 of 30 triples. They also won the rebound battle, 44-42, and had more assists, 19-13, with Alvin Abundo dishing out 10.
Perkins topped the Green Archers with 19 points and five rebounds. Prince Rivero added 12 points and eight rebounds in a reserve role.
CEU rose to the top of Group B with a 6-1 card with one more game on their slate against the SWU Cobras on June 6 (Saturday). The Green Archers fell to 5-2 and Fourth Place, a game and a half ahead of University of Santo Tomas (3-3) for the final playoff slot.
Just as entertaining was the Red Lions’ win over the Cobras. San Beda moved into a tie with the University of the East for Second Place in Group B at 5-1 while the Cobras virtually kissed their playoff aspirations goodbye with a 1-4 record.
San Beda banked on the all-around brilliance of Baser Amer who mocked the SWU defenses with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. Donald Tankoua also proved to be a force underneath with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Boko Mupungo got the better of hjs duel with Tankoua by knocking in 15 points and 17 rebounds but it was not enough to propel his team to the win. Mac Tallo paced the Cobras with 25 points and 11 assists, most of which were targeted to Mupungo.
Tallo and Mupungo proved to be an unstoppable duo in the first period by powering the Cobras to the early lead, 23-11. Suddenly, the Cobras’ offense went sour and could only come up with nine markers in the second period as the Red Lions wrested control by halftime, 35-32.
Earlier in the day, Jose Rizal University finally handed University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta their first defeat of the tournament, 67-58. The Heavy Bombers leaned on a strong third period to turn the tide in their favor and annex the solo leadership of Group A with a 6-1 win-loss card while the Altas dropped to 5-1.
The other Group A game saw Far Eastern University keep their playoff hopes alive with an 80-68 mastery of Adamson University. The now 4-3 Tamaraws are half a game behind idle National University (4-2) for the fourth and final berth with one game remaining against also ran Emilio Aguinaldo College on June 5.
Meanwhile, the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eaglets formalized their entry into the Juniors Division semifinals with an 85-49 drubbing of the Letran Squires. The De La Salle-Zobel Junior Archers and National University Bullpups are the early semifinalists with the fourth and last spot to be disputed by the La Salle Green Hills Greenies and Malayan High School of Science Red Robins on June 5.
How They Scored:
JOSE RIZAL (67) – Pontejos 14, Poutouochi 12, Teodoro 11, Sanchez 8, Abdulwahab 7, de la Paz 7, Balagtas 6, Aurin 2, Grospe 0, de la Virgen 0, David 0.
PERPETUAL HELP (58) – Akhuete 25, Oliveria 6, Dizon 6, Dagangon 5, Thompson 4, Bantayan 4, Eze 4, Coronel 2, Sadiwa 2, Ylagan 0, Gallardo 0, Elopre 0.
Period Scores: 12-15, 30-31, 56-45, 67-58.
FAR EASTERN (80) – Arong 25, Tolomia 13, Pogoy 10, Belo 7, Escoto 6, Trinidad 4, Jose 4, Inigo 4, Holmqvist 3, Tamsi 2, Orizu 2, Dennison 0, Denila 0, Ugsang 0, Bienes 0, Roxas 0, Liwag 0, Comboy 0.
ADAMSON (68) – Sarr 21, Garcia 11, Nalos 8, Aquino 8, Gumtang 6, Polican 3, Baytan 3, Pedrosa 2, Villanueva 2, Ng 2, Bernardo 2, Barrera 0.
Period Scores: 14-19, 27-38, 59-56, 80-68.
SAN BEDA (71) – Amer 14, Tankoua 12, Koga 9, Sorela 8, Adeogun 6, Tongco 6, de la Cruz 6, Mendoza 5, Mocon 4, Sara 1, Reyes 0, Sedillo 0.
SOUTHWESTERN (66) – Tallo 25, Mupungo 15, Holper 12, Goloran 8, Parker 3, Bregondo 2, Racho 1, Auditor 0, Acuno 0, Pardo 0, Luz 0.
Period Scores: 11-23, 35-32, 52-51, 71-66.
CENTRO ESCOLAR (93) – Jeruta 19, Casino 17, Ebondo 15, S. de Leon 13, Batino 8, Abundo 7, Vargas 6, Celso 4, Anunciacion 2, Pagkatipunan 2, Opiso 0, K. de Leon 0.
DE LA SALLE (78) – Perkins 19, Rivero 12, Tratter 11, Torres 8, Teng 8, Gob 6, Caracut 5, Go 4, Van Opstal 3, Navarro 2.
Period Scores: 16-23, 36-37, 65-57, 93-78.