In a battle of two collegiate champions in the country, NCAA Seniors Basketball kings San Beda Red Lions stifled UAAP Men’s Basketball juggernauts Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, 49-43, Monday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
With the win, San Beda picked up a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three semis series in the 2019 PSC-PCCL President’s Cup.
“Basta panalo. We want to get this win. In a best-of-three importante ang Game One. We’re happy na at least we got the win,” shared San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez.
Donald Tankoua powered San Beda with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Evan Nelle steered the ship with a line of 12 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Down 31-22 midway through the third canto, the Red Lions went on a 16-2 burst to gain the lead for good.
“Maganda lang talaga yung third quarter intensity ng mga bata, especially Evan and Peter [Alfaro] na nag-dictate ng tempo namin. Nakuha namin yung energy,” added Fernandez.
Ateneo played with a depleted lineup, however, as the quartet of the Nieto twins, Tyler Tio, and Jolo Mendoza came in late due to classes.
Matt and Mike Nieto played six minutes each.
BJ Andrade took advantage of this opportunity, finishing with 11 points spiked by three triples. However, with Ateneo cutting the lead down to just four with 1:24 left, Andrade missed back-to-back triples. Free throws by Tankoua sealed the deal.
“Medyo hindi lang kumpleto ang Ateneo, the other guys came in late kaya nagka-advantage kami ng konti,” lamented Fernandez.
Angelo Kouame posted a double-double for Ateneo with 13 points and 21 rebounds.
Thirdy Ravena shot just 1-of-10 from the field for five points.
Calling the shots for the Blue Eagles was Sandy Arespacochaga as Tab Baldwin is still in the States.
Game Two will take place on Thursday, January 24 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. The winner of this series will take on the UV Green Lancers in the National Finals.
SBU 49 –– Tankoua 18, Nelle 12, Canlas 9, Oftana 4, Soberano 2, Doliguez 2, Etrata 2, Alfaro 0, Carino 0, Abuda 0, Cuntapay 0, Bahio 0, Toba 0.
ADMU 43 — Kouame 13, Andrade 11, Navarro 7, Ravena 5, Belangel 5, Mamuyac 2, Go 0, Credo 0, Berjay 0, Ma. Nieto 0, Mi. Nieto 0, Mendoza 0.
Quarterscores: 11-7, 22-24, 38-33, 49-43.