In a battle of champions, National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (NAASCU)’s Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions pounced on National Collegiate Athletic Assocation (NCAA)’s San Beda, 80-69, to bounce back from their most recent loss and put a dent on the latter’s record, at the continuing action of the 2015 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup, Friday, May 15 at FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan City.
The Scorpions started on a 6-0 with baskets from Rodrigue Ebondo, Samboy De Leon, and Alfred Batino. After the run by CEU, San Beda went on to seize the lead 4:39 left in the first period with a Roldan Sara trey, 9-8. In the following play, Pierre Tankoua made a jumper to pad on Red Lions’ lead, 11-8. An exchange of and-one plays occurred after and CEU coach Edgar Macaraya called for time. Scorpion Mon Abundo took over as the quarter ended with the NAASCU champions leading, 16-14.
At the start of the second quarter, San Beda equalized the game once more. Ryusei Koga stole a loose ball off Abundo and found Michole Sorela for the shot. Back-to-back jumpers for Batino and an offensive foul from Ola Adeogun forced Red Lions coach Jamike Jarin to call ceasefire. It was the Scorpions who instead made the most of the quarter. The white shirts shot well to pad on the lead to 10, 31-21, 2:27 left in the half. De Leon exploded to six points in the last minutes of the second canto to help CEU erect a double-digit advantage, 39-28.
It was a see-saw battle in the third quarter as the Red Lions started to push for a comeback anchored on Arth Dela Cruz. The NCAA kings cut the deficit down to seven, 37-44, two minutes into the period with a Koga trey. De Leon answered back with a five-point swing to restore the 10-point lead for his team. The NAASCU MVP and his wards had an answer on every San Beda run and the period ended, 63-55, still for CEU.
The payoff period was similar to the previous ones with San Beda playing catch up the whole time. Only seven minutes left in the game, and Adeogun reduced the deficit to five, 59-64, off two converted free throws. However, in the following play, the game would turn from bad to worse for the NCAA mainstays. Dela Cruz was called for an unsportsmanlike foul, while Adeogun was whistled for two successive technical fouls – the latter from excessive complaining. That was the turning point of the match, as the Scorpions made timely shots to stave any attempt of the Red Lions to come back. In the end, it was the NAASCU champs who took the victory, 80-69.
Winning coach Edgar Macaraya praised his team for their overall great performance in the game. The long-time mentor said, “The boys played well and I give credit to the boys.” Macaraya expressed his pride that they were able to bounced back from their most recent loss against University of the East. He added that, “[The way they played] was really a show of character.”
The Scorpions, who got their fourth win, was led by De Leon with 27 points and 8 rebounds. Ebondo pitched in with 22 points and 14 caroms. On the other hand, Tankoua and Dela Cruz paced the Red Lions with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Despite only shooting 18% from beyond-the-arc, way below their average, CEU made up on the defense allowing just 35% overall shooting for their opponents.
The CEU Scorpions next play the UST Tigers on Saturday, May 23 at 3:15pm while the SBC Red Lions look to bounce back against the UP Fighting Maroons on Friday, May 22 at 3:15pm.
CEU (80) – De Leon 27, Ebondo, 22, Batino 8, Abundo 7, Celso 7, Jeruta 3, Vargas 2, Opiso 2, Anunciacion 2, Casiño 0, Pagkatipunan 0, Silverie 0
SBC (69) – Tankoua 16, Dela Cruz 15, Sara 8, Koga 8, Adeogun 4, Mocon 4, Sedillo 4, Tongco 2, Mendoza 2, Sorela 2, Reyes 2, Cabanag 2, Amer 0, Presbitero 0, Carlos 0, Soberano 0, Abude 0
|CEU (B, 4-1)||16||39||63||80|
|SBC (B, 3-1)||14||28||55||69|