SAN JUAN City – In a possible preview of this season’s championship, San Beda College got the better of Arellano University, 101-86, at the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eliminations at the San Juan Arena Friday night (July 22). The Red Lions had to battle from a 22-point deficit early in the second period, 14-36, to hack out their sixth win in as many starts.
Rookie Davon Potts scored seven points in a crucial 10-0 run that gave San Beda a steady 83-75 lead with six minutes to play. Suddenly, the once hot shooting of the Chiefs sputtered as they missed badly from the field and the free throw line thus allowing Potts and Donald Tankoua to find the hoop for easy scores and punctuated by an Arnaud Noah breakaway slam dunk in the waning seconds.
The Chiefs jumped the gun on the Red Lions by racing to a 17-2 lead. San Beda settled down but still trailed after the first 10 minutes, 10-19.
The second half was a totally different story as San Beda exploded for 64 points after scoring only 27 in the first half. “I told my teammates disregard the halftime score and just trust each other,” said Potts as a fired up San Beda returned for the second half.
On the other hand, Arellano’s once hot shooting sputtered from both the field and the line. The usually prolific pair of Jiovani Jalalon and Kent Salado could only muster three points each as the rest of the squad struggled as well en route to falling to 3-2.
The patient Red Lions had their first taste of the upper hand on a Ranbill Tongco triple with two minutes left in the third period, 66-65. The Chiefs recovered before Noah knotted the count with a tip in at the buzzer, 72-72.
Potts set a new personal high of 31 points via 12 out of 18 shooting on top of four rebounds. Tankoua was a force underneath with 28 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks.
Jalalon ended up with 25 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Salado had 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.
How They Scored:
SAN BEDA (101) – Potts 31, Tankoua 28, Tongco 12, Noah 8, Soberano 6, Presbitero 6, Bolick 5, Sara 3, Oftana 1, Mocon 1, Carlos 0, Navarro 0, Alas 0.
ARELLANO (86) – Jalalon 25, Salado 16, Enriquez 12, Flores 10, Meca 7, Cadavis 6, Holts 4, Aguilar 3, Gumaru 3, Nicholls 0, Canete 0, Villoria 0.
Period Scores: 10-19, 37-47, 72-72, 101-86.