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NCAA 97: San Beda cruises past Arellano for fifth win

San Beda University took another victim on Easter Sunday, outclassing Arellano University 82-68 to remain unbeaten in the NCAA Season 97 Seniors Basketball Tournament at La Salle Green Hills’ St. Benilde Gym in Quezon City.

Figuring in a tight opening quarter, the Red Lions exploded with a 30-point second quarter that turned a 17-15 lead into a 47-32 advantage.

Gab Cometa poured all of his 11 points in the first half while rookie Justine Sanchez scored eight during the first 20 minutes of action as well.

San Beda’s lead would go to as high as 22 points, 64-42, after a James Canlas free throw with 3:47 left in the period.

Well, our game plan really is to push the ball early,” head coach Boyet Fernandez shared of the Red Lions’ objectives in the game. “It seems like in the first quarter, Arellano’s game plan is just to walk the ball and play us half-court. So, we thought that if we could run it all the way — every time Arellano gets a shot or miss a basket — just push it with our primary offense, our motion offense.”

Though the Chiefs managed to cut the lead down to 11, 70-59, Canlas instigated this 8-0 run, finding JB Bahio in transition for the layup before getting one himself in the ensuing play. Peter Alfaro and Rhyann Amsali then finished from the inside, leaving Arellano with 3:16 remaining.

Canlas paced the Red Lions with 14 points, four rebounds, and a steal, while Bahio finished with eight markers, six rebounds, three blocks, one assist, and one steal.

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Rookies Tony Ynot, Justine Sanchez, and Rhayyan Amsali also had a chance to shine.

Ynot got nine points on 4-of-5 shooting; Amsali produced eight points, four rebounds, and two steals; while Sanchez dropped eight points in just six minutes of gametime.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, fell to 2-4 in the standings, tied with San Sebastian and Perpetual for sixth.

Axel Doromal scored 16 points to go along with three rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block. Gelo Sablan stepped up with 10 markers, six boards, and a block, as Justin Arana was saddled with three fouls in the first quarter — ending the game with seven points, 13 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two blocks.

“We took advantage of this break, which is the Holy Week, at least nakapagnilay-nilay, and then we have to also prepare for our future games. We’re looking for five games in two weeks. But we’re looking for one game at a time, we just have to be ready,” Fernandez said of this grueling tail-end to San Beda’s elimination round schedule starting against the dangerous University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (2-4) on April 20 at 12 NN.

On the other hand, Arellano will take on Lyceum of the Philippines University on April 22, also at 12 NN.

The Scores:

San Beda 82 — Canlas 14, Cometa 11, Penuela 9, Ynot 9, Bahio 8, Amsali 8, Sanchez 8, Cuntapay 6, Alfaro 4, Gallego 3, Visser 2, Villejo 0, Abuda 0, Andrada 0, Jopia 0.

Arellano 68 — Doromal 16, Sablan 10, Valencia 9, Cruz 8, Arana 7, Concepcion 7, Steinl 4, Sta. Ana 3, Abastillas 2, Caballero 2, Oliva 0.

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Quarterscores: 17-15, 47-32, 66-52, 82-68.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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