In a highly-anticipated game by the defending champions, the San Beda University Red Lions played inspired basketball, pulling off a 73-59 triumph over the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“We were really excited about playing against Baste [since] we know that they are a strong team. We know that a win will bring a lot of confidence to our boys,” said decorated San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez as his boys lost a double-overtime game to San Sebastian in the PBA D-League.
“We started really slow – credit to coach Egay for that. I’m just happy for our boys that they stepped up. It was really our defense that stepped up,” he added.
Calvin Oftana led the Red Lions’ charge, almost tallying a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists.
Down by two with 7:01 left, Doliguez then knocked down a triple to spark a 12-0 run. Clint Doliguez and Donald Tankoua also provided buckets.
“They didn’t want to lose this game. May deal kami na may three days off sila if manalo sila. It’s the first time we will have that. Pero after nito, tuloy-tuloy na kami,” Fernandez shared.
Allyn Bulanadi tried to stop the Golden Stags bleeding, but San Beda’s firepower was just too overwhelming. The Red Lions would lead by as much as 16 points, 72-57, with 37.1 ticks left.
The big three of Evan Nelle, Donald Tankoua, and James Canlas had 14 points each, with Nelle also hauling down a career-high 10 rebounds.
This is San Beda fourth straight win in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball tournament. Meanwhile, San Sebastian dropped their second straight game to fall to 2-2-.
“We haven’t achieved anything yet. We just won four games, and up next are the teams we expected to be on the top,” said Fernandez.
Allyn Bulanadi paced San Sebastian with 15 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Alvin Capobres and Arjan Dela Cruz added 13 and 12 markers each since they needed to step up for RK Ilagan, who was held down to just three points on 1-of-8 shooting.
San Beda will next face the CSB Blazers in a battle of the last two unbeaten teams on Friday, August 2 at 12:00 nn. On the other hand, San Sebastian take on the same team on Tuesday, July 30 at 4:00 pm.
SBU 73 –– Nelle 14, Tankoua 14, Canlas 14, Oftana 10, Doliguez 8, Noah 6, Soberano 3, Bahio 2, Abuda 1, Cuntapay 1, Etrata 0, Visser 0, Obenza 0, Carino 0.
SSC-R 59 — Bulanadi 15, Capobres 13, Dela Cruz 12, Calma 6, Altamirano 4, Ilagan 3, Sumoda 2, Villapando 2, Desoyo 2, Tero 0, Cosari 0, Calahat 0.
Quarterscores: 16-19, 32-35, 48-45, 73-59.