SAN JUAN City – Defending champion San Beda College downed contender Jose Rizal University, 88-69, in a potential playoff preview Thursday (August 6) at the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games at the San Juan Arena. The Red Lions are now on their longest winning streak of the season at four games and counting.
Starting tentatively, San Beda battled the Heavy Bombers through one deadlock and five lead changes until Art de la Cruz and Dan Sara combined for six unanswered points that gave them the lead for good with 7:50 left in the first period, 14-9.
The Red Lions then started the second canto with an 8-2 run powered by de la Cruz, Ranbill Tongco and Donald Tankoua that erected their first double-digit lead, 28-17. JRU managed to whittle the deficit just before halftime behind the hot shooting of Bernabe Teodoro and SBC remained on top, 39-33.
Finding themselves mired in a 13-point deficit, 56-43, it was the turn of Razak Abdulwahab and Paolo Pontejos to lead another rally capped by scoring the third period’s final seven markers to threaten, 54-58. Jordan de la Paz then opened the final period with a basket that put the Heavy Bombers at their closest, 56-58.
That was the cue for de la Cruz and Sara to connect on back-to-back field goals, 62-56, and valuable breathing space. Abdoul Poutouochi completed a three-point play to close in by five, 64-69, but the Red Lions responded with Ola Adeogun getting the points back via a three-point play of his own followed by de la Cruz, Sara and Ryusei Koga puncturing the hoop for their biggest lead of the game, 83-66.
“Players were hardheaded today but I understand because they are kids,” said Coach Jamike Jarin. “Good that in the end they obeyed and followed the instructions as it’s part of our continuous efforts to learn and improve.”
De la Cruz continued to churn out MVP-type statistics with 29 points, six rebounds, nine assists and four steals. Sara followed with 17 points, seven of those in San Beda’s fourth period breakaway.
Teodoro topped the Heavy Bombers of Coach Vergel Meneses with 16 points but disappeared in the second half by being held scoreless in the third while converting a late inconsequential triple in the fourth. Jordan de la Paz backed up Teodoro with 15 points and seven rebounds.
In Juniors Division games, the defending champion Red Cubs of Coach JB Sison cruised to their seventh straight win and maintained their spotless record after devastating the Light Bombers, 103-53. Despite leading by 19 after three periods, the Red Cubs did not show any mercy by outgunning the opposition in the final period, 38-7.
Pedro Alfaro continued to show why he is the Red Cubs’ tournament scoring leader by pumping in 16 points followed by Albert Bordeos and Samuel Abuhijle with 12 each. Toby Brian Agustin paced the Light Bombers with 18 points and 12 rebounds followed by John Jairuz Torre with 14.
Meanwhile, University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta banked on stellar games from Earl Scottie Thompson, Bright Akhuetie and Gab Dagangon to dispose of Arellano University, 76-66. The result was the opposite in the Juniors Division as the Braves kept the Junior Altas winless, 85-69.
How They Scored:
SAN BEDA-RIZAL (103) – Alfaro 16, Bordeos 12, Abuhijle 12, Sese 10, Nayve 9, Mahinay 9, Velasquez 8, de la Rosa 7, Bonalos 6, Tagala 4, Nelle 4, Etrata 3, Barbero 3, Samaniego 0.
JOSE RIZAL (53) – Agustin 18, Torre 14, Baliad 7, Carreon 4, Tan 4, Sta. Maria 3, Indiongco 3, Sicat 0, Mocompas 0.
Period Scores: 21-18, 44-28, 65-46, 103-53.
SAN BEDA (88) – de la Cruz 29, Sara 17, Adeogun 16, Koga 7, Tongco 7, Sorela 7, Soberano 3, Tankoua 2, Cabanag 0, Reyes 0, Mocon 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0, Sedillo 0.
JOSE RIZAL (69) – Teodoro 16, de la Paz 15, Pontejos 9, Poutouochi 8, Abdulwahab 8, Laquety 4, de la Virgen 3, Aurin 2, Balagtas 2, Grospe 2, Sanchez 0, Cruz 0, Estrella 0.
Period Scores: 20-15, 39-33, 58-54, 88-69.