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Red Lions withstand furious Letran rally to grab third slot in Filoil semis



The San Beda College (SBC) Red Lions survived the hot shooting of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL) Knights late in the fourth quarter to come out victorious, 75-72, to send themselves into the semifinals of the 2015 FilOil-Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

The Mendiola-based Red Lions opened the first quarter with a 10-2 run with less than seven minutes left, with Art Dela Cruz, Ola Adeogun, Roldan Sara, and Ryusei Koga providing the baskets. CSJL, meanwhile, closed within eight, 19-11, after a Felix Apreku lay-up thirty seconds before the two-minute mark, but SBC closed out the quarter with a 6-2 run to lead by twelve, 25-13.

The Knights inched within eight, 27-19, after a Rey Publico lay-up with less than eight minutes in the second frame. SBC, from the slim lead, scored six straight points to lead by 14, 33-19, in the 5:07 mark. CSJL went behind by nine, 39-30, with 1:48 to go, but another 6-0 run orchestrated by Javee Mocon and JP Mendoza ended the first half in favor of the Red Lions, 45-30.

CSJL erased the huge deficit by trimming it to five, 52-47, after a 12-5 spree behind Bong Quinto, Jomari Sollano, and Mark Cruz with 5:15 remaining in the third canto. But still, Letran failed to snatch the lead after SBC, with baskets from Mocon, Sara, Mychole Sorela, Pierre Tankoua, and Amiel Soberano, scorched to a 15-6 run of their own to regain the upper hand, 67-53, heading into the fourth and final frame.

SBC posted the game’s biggest lead at twenty, 74-54, in the 7:19 mark of the fourth quarter. CSJL fought back from the deficit, unleashing a hot 17-0 run sparked by the triumvirate of Cruz, Sollano, and Quinto to close within three, 74-71, with 49.6 ticks left. SBC’s Ranbill Tongco made it 75-71 after a split free throw, but Cruz’s split FTs of his own made it 75-72 with 12.7 seconds left. Letran had chances, but their shots from point-blank range failed to punch its way down the basket. Tongco missed both of his freebies with less than seven seconds left, but a three-point attempt by Cruz a foot away from the arc heavily missed its’ target, sending Letran’s hopes of a come-from-behind win in tatters.

“When you have a new system, you have to trust. And I think that was enough trust to them,” said SBC Head Coach Jamike Jarin, giving his players the credit in today’s win. “It is also a learning process for the boys,” he furthered.

Almost all in the Red Lions roster scored, with Pierre Tankoua leading the way with 12 points and nine rebounds. Mocon added 10 markers and also had nine boards coming off the bench. Cruz, who came off the bench, led Letran with 20 points in a losing effort.

SBC will face the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers this Friday, June 12, in the semifinal stage of the tournament.


The Scores:

SBC 75 – Tankoua 12, Mocon 10, Mendoza 8, Sara 8, Sorela 8, Soberano 8, Koga 7, Adeogun 5, Dela Cruz 4, Reyes 2, Carlos 2, Tongco 1, Sedillo 0, Abude 0, Abuda 0, Presbiterio 0

CSJL 72 – Cruz 20, Sollano 14, Quinto 14, Luib 6, Apreku 6, Publico 5, Balanza 4, Calvo 3, Dela Pena 0, Bernabe 0




Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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