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Adeogun, Cabanag pace San Beda in win over Benilde

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The San Beda College (SBC) Red Lions, in their penultimate game before facing the Altas in a marquee game, avoided a late game collapse against the College of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers with a 73-67 win Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

The defending NCAA champions quickly opened the game with an 8-2 lead to open the game. Ola Adeogun and Art De La Cruz broke down the defense of the Blazers in penetrating the paint and powering their way to easy baskets. On the other end, the San Beda defense contested almost every shot St. Benilde was attempting. In the quarters, the Blazers were only able to convert on four field goals, two coming from energy guy Christian Fajarito. Adeogun and De La Cruz feasted their way until the end of the quarter. A layup by Jeramer Cabanag closed the quarter with SBC leading 20-8.

Jonathan Grey started a mini Benilde spurt to cut the San Beda lead to just eight points. Grey assisted on a three pointer by JJ Domingo and an and-one by Rene Sta. Maria. The frontcourt duo of Adeogun and De La Cruz again halted any momentum gained by the Blazers in an 8-0 run capped by a dunk by Adeogun coming from De La Cruz. The San Beda lead grew to a game-high 19 points, 35-16, with 4:14 remaining. Two conversions from downtown by Saavedra and a layup by JR Ongteco cut the lead to just 13, 41-28 to end the quarter.

By the half, San Beda had already attempted 15 free throw attempts and converted on 10. The Blazers had a hard time in defending as they committed 12 fouls. In addition, the Red Lions shot 55% from the field compared to 33% by the Blazers.

The Red Lions’ starters went out of the dugout lackadaisical to open the second half. The pick and fade game of the Blazers resulted to free jumpers for the Green squad. Saavedra converted on a three pointer to open the quarter followed by conversions by Amando San Juan and Sta. Maria to cut the lead to six 45-39 with 2:41 remaining. Another jumper by Sta. Maria and a three pointer by Domingo cut the lead to just 2 50-48 to end the quarter. The Beda offense was only able to produce nine points in the quarter with five coming from Adeogun.

The bench of the Mendiola-based squad sparked a huge rally to open the final frame of the game. West Negros University transferee Jeramer Cabanag sparked a game breaking 11-0 rally. Cabanag scored seven in that run that included a three pointer and capped by a fast break layup to give SBC a 61-50 lead. An aggressive Grey then responded with an 8-0 run of his own to cut the lead to just five once more. However, Adeogun returned to the game and continued his dominance in the paint to extend the lead to ten once more 72-62 with 1:39 remaining. A three by Castor and a jumper by Farito cut the lead to just six with 37 ticks remaining but misses in crunch time gave San Beda the win 73-67.

After the game, Coach Jamike Jarin praised sophomore guard Cabanag and his patience. “He was the go-to-guy when he was in Western Visayas. He’s making all these sacrifices and all-around team guy. He has a bright future,” said the mentor. In addition, he credited the defense of Benilde in the third quarter but also questioned the consistency of his team.

After averaging just 14 points and six rebounds in four games, Nigerian foreign student-athlete Ola Adeogun led the Red Lions with 25 points and 13 rebounds on 10/12 shooting. Art De La Cruz notched another double-double with ten points and 10 rebounds while sixth man Jeramer Cabanag scored nine points on 4/6 shooting. For the Blazers, Jonathan Grey again led the team with 16 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists. Fons Saavedra had 15 points, including three triples.

As a team San Beda shot 50% from the field. However, the team just shot 11/24 from the charity stripe. Even in committing more turnovers (22-16), the Red Lions outrebounded the Blazers 48-32 that proved to be the difference in the game.

The SBC Red Lions (4-1) next face the UPHSD Altas on Tuesday, July 28 at 4:00pm while the CSB Blazers (1-4)  face the JRU Heavy Bombers at 2:00pm at the same day.

The Scores:
SBC (73) – Adeogun 25, De La Cruz 10, Cabanag 9, Sara 6, Tankoua 6, Koga 5, Tongco 5, Reyes 3, Solera 2, Sedillo 2, Soberano 0, Mocon 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0.
CSB (67) – Grey 16, Saavedra 15, Domingo 8, Fajarito 8, Sta. Maria 7, Castor 7, Ongteco 4, San Juan 2, Jonson 0, Nayve 0, Young 0.
Quarterscores: 20-8, 41-28, 50-48, 73-67.

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