The San Beda College (SBC) Red Lions escaped a furious rally by the upset-minded San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) Golden Stags, 92-81, to win their fifth straight game, early Thursday evening, at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Michael Calisaan and the San Sebastian Stags started off hot from the field in gaining an early 9-4 lead to open the quarter. The Stags momentum would be halted, however, as seniors Ola Adeogun and Art dela Cruz teamed up to gain the lead midway through the quarter. The San Beda bench continued the rally, as Radgebill Tongoco and Ryusei Koga converted from downtown, while energy guy, Javee Mocon, scored on a putback to put the defending champions up, 27-20, at the end of the first quarter.
Donald Tankoua kept the Stags at bay in the second quarter. Furthermore, Tankoua anchored the paint in disturbing all entries while scoring hard in the paint. The backup Center scored 11 points in the quarter and grabbed five rebounds. Jamil Ortuoste tried to pace the Stags with six points, but Dan Sara and Adeogun kept their opponents at bay. San Beda was still on top with 53-39 at halftime.
Adeogun continued to dominate in the third quarter in scoring 15 points in the quarter. The Nigerian foreign-student athlete exploited the single coverage defense of Calisaan and Guinto resulting to foul-trouble for Calisaan. Moreover, the Stags could not rebound the ball in the third, resulting to offensive rebounds and second chance points for the Mendiola-based squad. In addition, Ortuoste cooled off in the third that made matters worse for the Recto-based squad. The Red Lions pushed their lead to 78-61 at the end of the third.
The Golden Stags unleashed a furious 20-0 lead from the end of the third quarter and extended to the 4:13 mark of the final period. The defending champions could not buy a basket during that frame and were outworked in the boards by the Stags. Spitfire Guard, Ryan Costelo, scored four points during the rally, and was all over the court in stealing and rebounding the ball. Calisaan also came alive in the fourth, as he consistently converted on midrange jumpers. The rally was capped by a Jeick Fabian drive that cut the San Beda lead to just one, 78-77. Adeogun was able to stop the rally with a layup coming from Koga, but was answered right back by a Calisaan jumper. However, 28 seconds later, Calisaan fouled out of the game after trying to stop a Sara-fast break. This killed all the momentum gained by the Stags as both their offense and defense looked lost soon after. Conversions by Sara, dela Cruz and Koga sealed the game for the Red Lions 92-81.
Coach Jamike Jarin blamed the team’s poor free throw shooting as one of the reasons why the game got close during the fourth period. “We missed 17 free throws and they came back,” the multi-titled high school coach said. “I just told the guys to just keep playing and don’t mind the calls of the referees,” he remarked about what he told the boys after their last timeout.
The San Beda Red Lions were led by the dominating performance of Ola Adeogun with 28 points, on 12/18 shooting, and 14 rebounds. Dela Cruz, Tongco, Koga, and Tankoua were also in double figures. For the Stags, Ryan Costelo and Michael Calisaan scored 18 and 17, respectively, with Costelo adding eight rebounds as well. Smart Elite Ambassador, Bradwyn Guinto, only had nine points, nine rebounds, and two blocks as he was constantly checked by the huge San Beda frontline.
The San Beda Red Lions shot poorly from the free throw line in just converting 45% off their charity stripe attempts. However, San Beda greatly outrebounded the Stags 58-33 that resulted to 22 second chance points.
The Red Lions (7-1) will face the Arellano University Chiefs on Tuesday, August 18 at 4:00pm. The Stags compiled a 2-7 record at the end of the first round.
SBC (92) – Adeogun 28, Dela Cruz 13, Koga 12, Tankoua 11, Sara 10, Tongco 8, Mocon 6, Cabanag 3, Solera 1, Soberano 0, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0, Sedillo 0
SSC-R (81) – Costelo 18, Calisaan 17, Ortuoste 13, Fabian 10, Guinto 9, Bulanadi 5, Santos 3, Sibal 2, David 2, Capobres 2, Pretta 0, Mercado 0
Quarters: 27-20, 53-39, 78-61, 92-81.
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