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San Beda marches on to Finals, utilizes second unit to ground JRU

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In the biggest game of the San Beda College Red Lions this season, San Beda head coach Jamike Jarin did not bring in the usual suspects to finish the game.

The second unit of the defending champions, led by AC Soberano, Javee Mocon, and Donald Tankoua, displayed uncanny confidence and poise as the deep San Beda Red Lions squad booked the second ticket to the NCAA Season 91 Finals in eliminating the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 78-68, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday evening.

From the get go, San Beda used good ball movement to power them in an 8-2 start behind Baser Amer’s back-to-back threes to initate the game. However, JRU was able to rally back with Paolo Pontejos inserted to their starting guard as the veteran guard anchored a 7-1 response to tie things up early, halfway in the first period. The Red Lions committed five turnovers in the opening frame while the Bombers took advantage as the closely-contested quarter ended in their favor, up by two.

The energetic second unit of the San Beda crew showed up efficiently as they piled up an 8-2 run to start the next quarter. Despite the two teams struggling with their offensive game, JRU responded with a run of their own and install a 31-25 lead behind balanced-scoring from their five on the floor. The tight defense of the Heavy Bombers helped them to maintain the small lead at the break as they also outscored the Red Lions in the paint, 18-6 after two 20 minutes of action.

By the 7:02 mark of the third, JRU maintained its 39-33 lead with Pontejos and Teodoro making plays for the Bombers. On the other end, the veterans of San Beda also chipped in with needed points to keep up with the fourth-seeded crew. The game started to become a shootout after a defensive-oriented first half. The Heavy Bombers built its largest lead of the match at 48-40 just before San Beda unleashed a 9-0 response which included two straight hits from downtown by Acee Soberano.

The stretch suddenly injected momentum towards the seemingly awakened Red Lions as successive fast break points in the last moments of the third canto gave them a 56-53 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Shaw Boulevard cagers managed to tie things up at the first minute of the fourth but San Beda responded down the stretch as an energetic run gave them a 66-58 separation.

In the final five minutes of play, the Vergel Meneses-mentored squad had multiple chances with their stops against the Red Lions crew. As San Beda sat out its veteran crew of Baser Amer, Art Dela Cruz and Ola Adeogun, JRU was able to make the game close with Balagtas making scoring eight straight points for his team. However, the unit of Radge Tongco, AC Soberano, Dan Sara, Javee Mocon, and Donald Tankoua proved to be sufficient against the Bombers as San Beda are now two wins away from capping their six-peat hopes in the NCAA.

“First off, I would like to give glory to God for everything that we have accomplished this season,” a grateful coach Jamike Jarin said after the game. “I would also like to give credit to Coach Vergel Meneses for the amazing work he has done for JRU and its basketball program.”

In using and having the confidence of using his second and third stringers in the most crucial moments of this game, coach Jamike Jarin admitted that this was because of the struggles of the first unit. “The starting unit was struggling while the second unit had the energy.” He also added that, “by just looking at the body language of my players, the second unit still had it. The starters were cheering on the bench while the unit that was on the floor told me that they can finish the game.”

He closed in saying, “I have been criticized for using 15 players and that I had no killer instinct. The bench delivered and I proved the doubters wrong.”

Four players scored in double-digits for the Red Lions. Smart Elite ambassador Baser Amer and Dan Sara both chipped in 11 points a piece with Amer adding five boards while Sara had three rebounds and three dimes. Donald Tankoua tallied a double-double with ten points and ten boards.

For the Heavy Bombers, Marco Balagtas led the team in scoring 14 markers, ten coming in the fourth quarter. He was 50% from the field and grabbed six boards as well. Abdoul Poutouochi added 12 points and eight boards. On the downside, Smart Elite ambassador Tey Teodoro was limited to just nine points on a horrible 4/15 shooting clip.

As a team, the Red Lions where 40% from the field compared to just 37% for their opponents. San Beda though shot more free throws, 17 makes on 26 attempts, while JRU attempted just nine free throws making six.

The San Beda College Red Lions advance to the Finals for the tenth straight season. They will face rivals Letran Knights on Friday, October 23 at 4:00pm. The JRU Heavy Bombers will finish the season at fourth place.

The Scores:
SBC (78) – Amer 11, Sara 11, Soberano 10, Tankoua 10, Mocon 8, Solera 7, Adeogun 5, Dela Cruz 5, Tongco 4, Koga 3, Reyes 2, Prebitero 2, Cabanag 0, Bonsubre 0, Sedillo 0.
JRU (68) – Balagtas 14, Poutouochi 12, Teodoro 9, Dela Paz 8, Estrella 8, Astilla 6, Pontejos 6, Abdulrazak 3, Lasquety 2, Sanchez 0, Grospe 0.
Quarterscores: 17-19, 30-32, 56-53, 78-68.

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AU

Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates

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The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17 dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits with rookie Necole Ebuen powering in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16 while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

The Lady Chiefs look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Basketball

Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse to fall to 0-2

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23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing had 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse, the second-best club team in Tunisia and boasts four national team players and an American import, led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired-up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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JRU

Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace of Final Four

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Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set, the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined crom those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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Basketball

Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record

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Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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