Defending NCAA Champions San Beda College Red Lions ended their first round campaign with a dominant performance, cruising past the Arellano University Chiefs in the Finals rematch of NCAA Season 92, 95-70, Tuesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Running-second San Beda will enter the second round on a seven-game winning streak, with their only setback coming at the hands of the league-leading Lyceum Pirates. Arellano, on the other hand, dropped to 3-6.
“We are happy that we got this win to finish the first round with only one loss. At least were two games ahead of third-running JRU,” said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez. “As I always say, we always take good care of ourselves and look forward to winning more games in order for us to be ready for LPU.”
And it was San Beda’s top stalwarts who led the rout. Robert Bolick, now fully recovered from the bum stomach he experienced two weeks ago, finished with 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting to go along with six rebounds. With Bolick providing the finesse, Javee Mocon gladly did the dirty work, adding 19 points and 14 rebounds.
“Mindset namin is to take care of ourselves, win games that we have to win, panalunin games namin and stay away from teams behind us,” added Fernandez.
But the game was close in the opening half, as Kent Salado and the Chiefs were able to keep pace with the Red Lions. However, behind Mocon and Bolick, San Beda were able to end the half with a 20-3 run that turned a 28-27 San Beda lead to an 18-point edge.
The lead would go to as high as 28 points in the dying minutes of the game.
Donald Tankoua added 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out six assists.
Salado paced Arellano with 26 points on 10-for-14 shooting. However, the rest of Arellano were not able to follow their leader, shooting a poor 31 percent from the field combined.
SBC (95) – Bolick 23, Mocon 19, Tankoua 15, Potts 6, Soberano 6, Noah 6, Tongco 5, Bahio 5, Cabanag 4, Doliguez 3, Carino 3, Abuda 0, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.
AU (70) – Salado 26, Flores 10, Concepcion 10, Enriquez 6, Canete 3, Ongolo Ongolo 3, Meca 3, Dela Cruz 2, Nicholls 2, Villoria 2, Alcoriza 2, Taywan 1, Abanes 0, Padilla 0, Filart 0
Quarterscores: 23-18, 48-30, 70-52, 95-70