The San Beda Red Lions extended their hot streak to 15 games in NCAA Season 93 as they defeated the Letran Knights, 73-68, on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Donald Tankoua led a balanced attack from the defending champions with 15 points, six of which coming in the final period. Robert Bolick tallied 13 points and six assists.
“I will not take this game away from Letran. They really need to win this game to make it to the Final Four. But it’s a rivalry eh,” coach Boyet Fernandez commended the Knights. “We have to win this game to prepare for us against Lyceum on Thursday.”
The Red Lions got a huge boost from role player Calfin Oftana who netted seven first quarter points. Oftana finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Clint Doliguez and Franz Abuda also provided hustle plays down the stretch as the Red Lions were able to outlast their rivals.
“Our glue guys really played good defense. They have the same size with (Bong) Quinto. Javee (Mocon) was not in this game today that’s why I gave them a shot. Clint and Franz made me look good today,” said Fernandez.
For Letran, which now holds an 8-9 record, Bong Quinto had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jerrick Balanza added 16 points.
The Red Lions are now on a collision course with the LPU Pirates, who remain perfect in the tournament with a 17-0 slate. The Pirates’ latest victim was the JRU Heavy Bombers, crushing them with a 100-63 rout.
“You always want to be at your best. We discussed kasi before the game that we need to do our best,” Topex Robinson shared. “Whether we are up by 20 or down by 20, we will always play the same.”
The Pirates were spearheaded by CJ Perez with 24 points, eight rebounds, four steals, and a ton of highlight plays, including two forceful dunks late in the game. It was a total team effort for the still undefeated Pirates with eight players scoring at least six points.
The last assignment for the Pirates in the elimination round is against the defending champions San Beda. “We look forward to our game against San Beda,” said Robinson, but then noted, “It’s not our end goal and it’s just a sign that there will be more games to come.”
Earlier, the San Sebastian Stags stayed in the playoff hunt with a rousing 97-70 victory over the Mapua Cardinals. The Sags bolstered their chances by improving their record to 8-9.
Jayson David poured in a career-high 24 points on a 11-for-16 shooting clip. The Stags bullied the Cardinals in the paint, 40-8, and led by as much as 28 points.
“They showed heart pinakita nila na buhay pa kami,” coach Egay Macaraya said.
The Stags are currently tied in the standings with the Arellano Chiefs and Letran Knights, who are all gunning for the last Final Four slot.
SAN SEBASTIAN 97 – David 24, Gayosa 18, Capobres 17, Calisaan 9, Ilagan 9, Calma 6, Costelo 5, Mercado 4, Bulanadi 3, Baetiong 2, Valdez 0, Navarro 0
MAPUA 70 – Pelayo 16, Orquina 15, Bunag 13, Estrella 12, Victoria 7, Jimenez 5, Raflores 2, Aguirre 0
QUARTER SCORES: 31-20, 46-34, 69-52, 97-70
SAN BEDA 73 – Tankoua 15, Bolick 13, Oftana 13, Mocon 8, Soberano 6, Abuda 6, Doliguez 5, Potts 3, Noah 2, Bahio 2, Adamos 0, Cabanag 0
LETRAN 68 – Quinto 18, Balanza 16, Calvo 12, Nambatac 8, Ambohot 7, Taladua 4, Vacaro 3, Balagasay 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0
QUARTER SCORES: 21-14, 33-31, 52-53, 73-68
LPU 100 – Perez 24, Pretta 9, Tansingco 9, Caduyac 8, Marcelino JC 8, Santos 8, Marata 8, Marcelino JV 6, Serrano 6, Ayaay 4, Nzeusseu 4, Ibanez 4, Liwa 2, Baltazar 0, Cinco 0
JRU 63 – Castor 12, Teodoro 11, Dela Virgen 10, Poutouochi 8, Mendoza 8, Sibangan 4, Mariano 4, Grospe 4, Abdul Razak 2, Mate 0, Sawat 0, Pontejos 0, Bordon 0, Lasquety 0, David 0
QUARTER SCORES: 24-18, 42-34, 68-53, 100-63