In outscoring their opponents 34-2 in bench points, the San Beda College Red Lions dethroned the De La Salle University Green Archers with an emphatic 79-53 triumph to emerge as the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup 2015 champions, Sunday night at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Ryusei Koga had a fantastic performance underlined by his 18 points, four rebounds, four assists, and zero turnovers. Three more Bedans reached double-digit scoring, but limiting La Salle’s scoring to only six people, and a magnificent 49% field goal shooting rate throughout the contest were pivotal en route to clinching the championship. Jeron Teng tallied a game-high 21 points, but the rest of the team struggled as five other players only managed to contribute 32 more points.
San Beda had a sloppy start in the opening quarter. The Red Lions allowed seven early points, while only scoring two of their own. It may have gotten worse for the reigning NCAA men’s basketball kings had it not been for La Salle’s fair share of turning possession over. Seeing his team crumble early on, San Beda Coach, Jamike Jarin, decided to call a timeout at the 4:29 mark of the first quarter. It proved to be effective for the Red Lions who trimmed the gap to a single digit, two minutes after the break. La Salle’s rookie hotshot, Andrei Caracut, then scored four points to restore a 13-8 lead for the Green Archers at the end of the period.
Falling behind by seven, early in the second quarter, the Red Lions came to life by putting up a game-changing 22-4 run to take a double-digit lead with only a minute to go in the opening half. Koga, Pierre Tankoua, and Ranbill Tongco delivered nine, eight, and five points, respectively, to score all of their team’s points in the second quarter. Likewise, only three players scored for DLSU. Larry Muyang and Abu Tratter poured in two apiece, while Jeron Teng had nine, five of which came as a result of a controversial string of calls towards the end of the second quarter. Leading by 11, San Beda vehemently protested the referee’s decision to assess Ice Reyes’ foul on Teng in the act of shooting. The San Beda coaching staff and Ola Adeogun received technical fouls, leading to five made freethrows by Teng. Fortunately for San Beda, the Green Archers were not able to convert on the bonus possession that may have cut down their huge lead down to four in just seconds.
After the break, the Red Lions used the halftime incident as a rallying point in the game. Only a couple of Caracut triples answered a flurry of San Beda attacks that resulted in 13 points coming from Adeogun, JP Mendoza, and Arthur Dela Cruz. Already with a 16-point lead halfway through the third period, the Red Lions frustrated La Salle defensively. The Green Archers managed only five points in the last five minutes of the half whereas San Beda pounded 11 more points to erect a monstrous 59-37 advantage entering the final canto.
Teng and batchmate Thomas Torres attempted to pull the Green Archers back into the game, but their quick baskets were rendered useless by La Salle’s porous defense. San Beda mustered six points to make it a 23-point game. A short virtual shootout between the two teams slightly reduced the gap to a still overwhelming 21 point margin with only six and a half minutes to go. With the outcome still undecided, San Beda’s Koga capped off a fast 7-0 run with a dagger triple that made it a 75-47 lead, which officially closed the door for a La Salle comeback. The last six minutes of the game was dead for both teams, who only managed a combined 10-point output in that stretch. Mathematically, it may have been still enough for the Green Archers to mount an unlikely run, but their woeful shooting from the field made it a virtual walk in the park for the Bedans, who went on to poach the crown to Mendiola.
San Beda (79) – Koga 18, Tankoua 12, Adeogun 11, Dela Cruz 10, Tongco 8, Sara 6, Mendoza 6, Sorela 6, Mocon 2, Soberano 0, Sedillo 0, Presbitero 0, Carlos 0, Abude 0, Abuda 0
La Salle (53) – Teng 21, Caracut 10, Torres 8, Perkins 6, Tratter 6, Sargent 1, Go 0, Torralba 0, Muyang 0, Gob 0, Pascual 0
Quarters: 8-13, 32-26, 59-37, 79-53