The defending champions continue its rampage
Behind spectacular performances from the quintet of Javee Mocon, Robert Bolick, Jeramer Cabanag, Donald Tankoua and AC Soberano, the San Beda College Red Lions surged past the Arellano University Chiefs, 83-72, to pick up their 12th straight win and clinch the final playoff incentive, Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The Red Lions now sport a 13-1 slate, while handing the Chiefs their ninth loss in 14 games. Moreover, after struggling to defeat Arellano two seasons ago, San Beda have now won their last seven match-ups against last season’s runners-up.
“As what I’ve always said to my players, we only have to take good care of ourselves,” said Red Lions head coach Boyet Fernandez. “We cannot pray for other teams to lose, other teams to win. All we have to do is take care of ourselves and win our games.”
Unlike their 85-70 win in the first round, however, their second round encounter was not a walk in the park for the Red Lions.
Behind Kent Salado and Michael Canete, the Chiefs were able to keep pace with the Red Lions in the first three quarters of the contest.
“Well unang-una, I give credit to coach Jerry [Codinera] and Arellano, they really prepared for us this day. It’s really our individual defense that worried me today,” lamented Fernandez.
But after finally locking down Salado, the Red Lions offense got going with Cabanag and Soberano taking turns, scoring every point in a 13-5 rally that turned a five-point lead into a 13-point cushion, 78-65, with 4:49 left.
Cabanag tallied his career-high 14 points in the contest.
Javee Mocon paced San Beda in the first three frames, finishing with 14 points with seven rebounds and five assists, while Robert Bolick glued things together with eight assists to go along with 13 points and seven rebounds.
After scoring 12 points in the first half, Salado was limited to just five points in the final 20 minutes of the game. Micahel Canete’s career-high of 15 points went to waste as well.
San Beda look to extend their streak on Tuesday, October 3, when they face the Perpetual Altas at 2:00pm. Arellano, on the other hand, hope to reignite their final push for a playoff spot when they take on the Saint Benilde Blazers on Thursday, October 5, at 2:00pm.
SBC 83 – Cabanag 14, Mocon 14, Bolick 13, Tankoua 11, Noah 7, Soberano 7, Adamos 4, Abuda 3, Doliguez 3, Potts 3, Bahio 2, Cariño 2, Tongco 0.
AU 72 – Salado 17, Cañete 15, Viloria 15, Flores 6, Dela Cruz 5, Concepcion 3, Meca 3, Nicholls 3, Taywan 3, Enriquez 2, Abanes 0, Alcoriza 0.
Quarterscores: 21-17, 43-40, 61-55, 83-72.