San Beda University began its NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament campaign red hot, ripping Arellano University, 85-61, blowout on Tuesday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre, San Juan City.
The Red Lions’ victory spoiled the debut of Chico Manabat, who took over the reins for the Chiefs after NCAA Season 98.
San Beda’s third-year Jacob Cortez led the Lions’ attack with 16 points and five assists, while Damie Cuntapay added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
For his solid rebounding, Cuntapay stands to receive a pair of shoes from San Beda head coach Yuri Escueta.
“I told him (Cuntapay) kasi if he gets at least 10 rebounds, I’ll give him shoes,” said Escueta.
The Red Lions took control of the game early as Cortez and Cuntapay combined for seven triples in the first half, helping the Mendiola squad lead by as much as 31 points after a buzzer-beating layup from Peter Alfaro to head into halftime.
The Chiefs struggled to mount a comeback in the second half, as the lowest they could cut the deficit was 22 after a late layup from Jerico Camay, making it 82-60. The rally would prove to be too late as San Beda secured the victory.
James Payosing also supplied 13 points while third-year big man Yukien Andrada added 12 points. Graduating guard Peter Alfaro chipped in 11 points as well.
Despite the blowout win to start the year, Escueta refuses to get complacent.
“We’re still a long way from the first game of the season. Arellano played tough, especially in the second half, and as the season progresses, I’m sure other teams will play tougher,” said the second-year Red Lions head coach.
“So, we have to be ready for those kinds of games, grind it out, physical games because it’s getting more physical towards the end, which is why we committed turnovers.”
The Red Lions now move to 1-0 for the season, joining Lyceum and JRU as opening day winners.
They aim to build on their strong start to Season 99 in their next game against Mapua University on Friday at 4:00 PM at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.
Arellano’s Jeadan Ongotan kept the Chiefs’ offense afloat with 16 points of his own. Lorenz Capulong added 10 points and nine rebounds.
San Beda dominated the matchups against Mapua in Season 98, winning both games by an average margin of 24 points, including a 35-point blowout that the Red Lions won 96-61 in the first round.
Starting the season 0-1, Arellano looks ahead to their battle against San Sebastian College – Recoletos on Saturday at 9:30 AM, also at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.
SBU 85 – Cortez 16, Payosing 13, Cuntapay 13, Andrada 12, Alfaro 11, Puno 5, Visser 4, Jopia 4, Tagle 3, Gonzales 2, Gallego 2, Torres 0.
Arellano 61 – Ongotan 16, Capulong 10, Valencia 8, Camay 7, Talampas 6,Mallari 3, Dayrit 3, Villarente 2, Abastillas 2, Dela Cruz 2, Sunga 2
Quarterscores: 24-15, 57-26, 74-46, 85-61