SAN JUAN City – Defending champion San Beda College overcame the odds stacked against them to begin the second round of the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on the right note by thumping Emilio Aguinaldo College, 96-84, Tuesday (August 25) at the San Juan Arena. The Red Lions played without suspended center Ola Adeogun and continued to miss injured guard Baser Amer but their absence hardly mattered as Art de la Cruz dished out another award-winning performance.
A major contender for the season’s Most Valuable Player award, de la Cruz scattered 12 points in the second period to reverse their 14-16 deficit after the first period into a 44-35 cushion by halftime. That was all the Red Lions needed as coasted along from there.
De la Cruz finished with a game-high 30 points followed by AC Soberano who made 12 of his 20 markers in the final canto. Ironically, the same duo also led San Beda with a combined 34 points in their 108-80 demolition of the Generals in their first meeting last July 2.
Francis Munsayac topped the Generals with 20 points. Hamadou Laminou was next with 18 points followed by Jeric Diego with 14.
Adeogun was suspended by the league for his emotional outburst in the game against Arellano University last August 18. He was also ordered to pay for the repair of the glass door of their dugout.
In Juniors action, the defending champion Red Cubs remained unscathed with their 10th straight win of the tournament at the expense of the ICA-EAC Brigadiers, 100-83. The Brigadiers fell to 4-6.
Evan Nelle paced the Red Cubs with 19 points followed by Pedro Alfaro with 15. Mark Lester Castillo topped the Brigadiers with 25 points while Kerby Dularte added 16.
Later in the day, the San Sebastian Stags upset the league-leading Letran Knights, 89-87, thanks to the late game heroics of Ryan Costelo and Mike Calisaan. Costelo spun to the hoop for the go-ahead field goal and Calisaan followed it up with a free throw but it was a clean defensive stop at the buzzer saved the day.
The Knights and Red Lions are now tied for the top spot in the Seniors Division with similar 8-2 records while the Stags broke away from a four-team logjam at the bottom with a 3-7 record, good for solo Seventh Place. Meanwhile, the Squires edged out the Staglets in their Juniors duel, 78-73.
How They Scored:
SAN BEDA-RIZAL (100) – Nelle 19, Alfaro 15, Abuhijle 14, Tagala 12, Nayve 11, Mahinay 8, Etrata 6, Lagumen 6, Bonalos 4, Barbero 2, Bordeos 2, de la Rosa 1.
ICA-EAC (83) – Castillo 25, Dularte 16, Cruz 12, Boado 11, Beduria 9, Baliquig 8, Calara 2, Tanque 0, Anonuevo 0.
Period Scores: 21-19, 47-38, 76-66, 100-83.
SAN BEDA (96) – de la Cruz 30, Soberano 20, Sara 14, Tankoua 11, Mocon 5, Koga 4, Sorela 4, Cabanag 2, Tongco 2, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0.
EMILIO AGUINALDO (84) – Munsayac 20, Laminou 18, Diego 14, Mejos 12, Pascua 8, Onwubere 6, Bonleon 3, Morada 3, Estacio 0.
Period Scores: 14-16, 44-35, 70-60, 96-84.