In the closest and most heated game between heated rivals San Beda and Letran in the past three years, the result was still the same.
Defending NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions San Beda University Red Lions outlasted the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights in an epic overtime encounter, 80-76, Friday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“As what I’ve said, it will be a tough game against Letran. It’s really the rivalry worth watching,” Red Lions head coach Boyet Fernandez said.
The Red Lions are still perfect for the season, raising their slate to 5-0. The Knights’ winning streak was snapped at four games, falling to 4-2. Moreover, third-year head coach Jeff Napa has yet to win against the Red Lions in five tries.
And the game needed an extra five minutes to settle the result.
“The coaches of Letran did a good job in this game. We should’ve won it during regulation. but credit to Letran, they did a good job in the fourth quarter,” shared Fernandez.
AC Soberano, who was ice cold prior to regulation, fired two triples to give San Beda a 75-72 lead with 3:06 left. JP Calvo then took charge for Letran, finding Christian Fajarito for a basket before knocking down a step back jumper to give Letran the edge.
Robert Bolick split his charities afterwards to knot things up with 47.9 ticks left. But San Beda was able to recover possession. Soberano then found Donald Tankoua underneath for the go-ahead basket.
Misses by Calvo, Jerrick Balanza, and Bong Quinto and free throws by Bolick sealed the win.
“That’s the epitome of stepping up,” Fernandez remarked about the fourth-year Soberano, who scored all six points in overtime.
Bolick finished with a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Tankoua had 11 markers and 13 rebounds.
San Beda led by as much as 11 points in the game and had a five-point cushion with 3:11 remaining in regulation. Calvo provided the spark for Letran, knocking down two free throws and finding Jeo Ambohot for a triple to tie the game.
With 3.8 seconds left, Jerrick Balanza was able to put Letran up after a Joe Presbitero airball. Javee Mocon was able to find Tankoua for a reverse layup to send the game into extra time with .2 seconds to spare.
Bong Quinto paced Letran with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Calvo chipped in 14 points, six assists, and four rebounds.
Surprsingly, San Beda out-rebounded Letran 52-41 as Larry Muyang was limited to just three rebounds due to foul trouble.
San Beda will next face the San Sebastian Golden Stags on Thursday, August 16. Letran, on the other hand, looks to bounce back on Friday, August 17 against the Lyceum Pirates.
SBU 80 — Bolick 20, Doliguez 11, Tankoua 11, Mocon 7, Oftana 6, Soberano 6, Canlas 4, Nelle 4, Presbitero 4, Tongco 3, Abuda 2, Carino 2, Cuntapay 0.
CSJL 76 — Quinto 21, Calvo 14, Ambohot 13, Balanza 11, Fajarito 10, Muyang 5, Taladua 2, Agbong 0, Balagasay 0, Batiller 0, Mandreza 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 17-14, 35-29, 53-44, 69-69, 80-76.