The San Beda College (SBC) Red Lions bounced back from a devastating loss against their rivals, Letran, in coasting through the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates 97-74 Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Pirates started the game with a quick 4-0 spurt behind Wilson Baltazar. Ola Adeogun and Art dela Cruz then took charge for the defending champions with an 11-3 run. The two powered their way in breaking the zone of the Pirates. Moreover, the Pirates were forced to turnovers as the San Beda-press frustrated the Pirates. The Mendiola-based squad ended the quarter with a 8-1 run to end the quarter up 27-14.
Noah Lugo changed the pace of the Lyceum’s offense in the second stanza. After being down 36-21 with 4:50 remaining, the rookie floor general sparked a 6-2 run to cut the deficit to just 11. Lugo attacked the defense of San Beda and converting on floaters against the frontline of San Beda. Jebb Bulawan then gained the hot hand in coverting on two consecutive long jumpers to cut the lead to nine. A putback by Dela Cruz and jumper by Baltazar closed the quarter with SBC up 42-33.
Excellent ball movement and pressing defense by the Red Lions helped extend their lead in the third canto. Dela Cruz pushed the pace for his team in scoring just five points but assisting on four shots in the quarter. The San Beda backcourt also had a field day in converting on three shots from downtown while Donald Tankoua gave the Pirates a tough time in scoring inside the paint. Lyceum’s foreign student-athlete Guy Mbida, playing extended minutes due to the one game suspension of Victor Nguidjol, tried to revive to the hapless Lyceum offense in pounding the paint and converting on tough shots but the depth of San Beda proved too much. Joseph Gabayni also had a tough time in putting up shots against the frontline of the Red Lions in the quarter. The quarter ended with San Beda extending their lead to 70-57.
Sara opened the floodgates in the final quarter in either scoring or assisting in eight of the first ten points of the Red Lions. The run was highlighted by a nifty behind the back pass by Sara to an open Tankoua. The lead continued to grew farther as Dela Cruz relentlessly broke down the Lyceum defense while the Pirates could not convert on even open shots. The Red Lions lead grew to a huge 97-71 before the game ended with a score of 97-74.
After the game, coach Jamike Jarin said that this was a good bounce back win for the defending champions. Coach Jarin also said that Adeogun was limited to just 17 minutes in the game due to a swollen hand. “Adeogun asked not to be put in the final quarter if the game was not close. He had a swollen hand but said that if need be, he would return,” Jarin said.
Art dela Cruz notched another triple double with 22 points and 14 rebounds. In addition, Roldan Sara, needing to step-up for the injured Baser Amer, had 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and six steals. On the other hand, Guy Mbida topscored for the Pirates with 13 points and eight rebounds. Joseph Gabayni was limited to just 11 points on 5/12 shooting.
As a team, San Beda shot 49% from the field compared to Lyceum’s 41%. In addition, the pressing defense of the Red Lions resulted to 26 turnovers, 11 coming from steals, and 31 turnover points.
San Beda will next play the Saint Benilde Blazers on Thursday, July 22 at 2:00pm while Lyceum will go against JRU on Friday, July 23 at 2:00pm.
SBC (97) – Dela Cruz 22, Tankoua 13, Koga 12, Sara 11, Adeogun 10, Tongco 9, Cabanag 8, Mocon 6, Solera 4, Bonsubre 2, Reyes 0, Presbitero 0, Sedillo 0
LPU (74) – Mbida 13, Baltazar 12, Gabayni 11, Lugo 8, Bulawan 8, Ayaay 6, Taladua 4, Malabanan 3, Alanes 3, Soliman 2, Marata 2, Lacastesantos 2, Sunga 0
Quarters: 27-14, 42-33,70-57, 97-74.