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Dela Cruz inks a triple double to lead San Beda in win over JRU

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Shrugging off a slow start to the payoff period, the frontcourt prowess of the defending champions San Beda College Red Lions propelled them to an 83-75 win over the Jose Rizal University Bombers on heavyweight matchup on Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

An active start to the game was displayed by both teams as they raced to a running start to the match. They also sorted to quick offense plays off the rebounds by giving up outlet passes. Dan Sara punched in the game’s first triple to give his team the lead at 7-6 halfway in the first quarter. On the other end, JRU’s interior passing enabled them to score all of their first field goals from the paint, Abdoul Poutouochi converting on three of those.

In the remaining minutes of the first canto, the game got closely-contested with a good sequence of defensive plays from the two teams. San Beda would then capitalize with the Bombers entering the penalty situation early as they drained 9/10 free throws in the quarter to end the first ten minutes of action up by six.

IN the 8:32 mark of the second half, Baser Amer returns to the floor for the Red Lions for the first time in two months after reinjuring his shoulder. The game was still tight in that point as the Bombers regain the lead with a fastbreak by Paolo Pontejos to seal a 9-3 start to the quarter. However, Art Dela Cruz anchored the run as he made consecutive baskets from inside while also dishing an assist to AC Soberano at the buzzer to make it 36-32 after two quarters.

From the get go of the second half, the Red Lions pushed the ball to their frontcourt as Ola Adeogun delivered the first baskets in the third. On the other end, scoring slowed down a bit with perimeter as San Beda extended their lead to its biggest of the quarter at 47-38. Fortunately for JRU, their extra passes enabled them to build a 9-2 run to slice the lead once again to two points.

As JRU settled with a full court pressure defense, the running game once again gave the Bombers good scoring chances in transition. In the last two minutes of the third, Teytey Teodoro sank a triple to tie the game at 58. The game slowed down with all the free throw attempts shot by the two teams as SBC maintained a 64-60 lead heading into the fourth.

Finally ending his slump from his silence in the first half, Teodoro made noise early in the fourth period by scoring at will with nine points in nearly 3 ½ minutes to give JRU a 69-67 edge. San Beda then scored the game’s next eight points as they remain composed down the stretch .With a smaller frontcourt, Adeogun feasted to extend SBC’s lead to 77-71 with over 3 minutes left in the match.

Hurting the Heavy Bombers chances are three key misses from the free throw area by former Red Lion Pontejos while Adeogun feasted on the other end as San Beda extended their lead to double digits under two minutes. As JRU became cold from the field, free throws sealed the deal for San Beda.

“We weren’t taking care of the ball. We had 18 turnovers compared to their 13, ang masakit pa dun, they converted it to points,” Coach Jamike Jarin said with regards to the run JRU made in the early part of the fourth quarter.

San Beda’s mentor though was elated that his floor general, Baser Amer, is back on the floor. “It’s really big. The demeanor and the leadership [of Amer] can’t be coached.” However, Jarin was nervous the entire time his captain was on the floor. “My heart was pounding every time he was on the floor.”

Art dela Cruz had his first career triple-double with 26 points, 15 boards, and ten dimes while Ola Adeogun complimented the effort with a double-double 23 points and 12 boards, going 11/13 from the foul line. Smart Elite ambassador Baser Amer played 22 minutes and was able to grab four rebounds and dish out five assists.

Spitfire point guard Paolo Pontejose topscored for the Heavy Bombers with 19 points but was just 2/6 on the foul line, 1/4 in the fourth. Smart Elite ambassador Tey Teodoro scored 16 points and four rebounds.

The San Beda Red Lions (10-2) look to extend their grasp on the top seed in facing the Perpetual Altas on Thursday, September 10 at 4:00pm while the JRU Heavy Bombers (6-5) will try to break their tie with the Mapua Cardinals (6-5) on Tuesday, September 8 at 2:00pm.

The Scores:
SBC (83) – Dela Cruz 26, Adeogun 23, Tankoua 10, Sara 8, Koga 5, Soberano 4, Tongco 3, Cabanag 2, Mocon 2, Amer 0, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0, Solera 0, Sedillo 0.
JRU (75) – Pontejos 19, Teodoro 16, Grospe 10, Lasquety 7, Poutouochi 6, Cruz 4, Abdulwahab 4, Sanchez 3, Dela Virgen 3, Dela Paz 2, Astilla 1, Balagtas 0.
Quarterscores: 21-16, 36-32, 64-61, 83-75.

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