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San Beda escapes La Salle in overtime thriller to bag first win of Preseason tournament



Squandering a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter of regulation, the San Beda Red Lions managed to hang on and defeat the defending pre-season champions, De La Salle University Green Archers in opening day of the tournament, 86-80 held at the FilOil Arena in San Juan City.

La Salle fielded Arnold Van Opstal and Joshua Torralba in the starting lineup, who did not see much action in their PCCL games. San Beda initiated the game at a fast pace and led by eight, 9-1, before Van Opstal made DLSU’s first field goal with nearly five minutes in. Down against Baser Amer’s hot start, coach Juno Sauler put in Andrei Caracut who provided instant offense off the bench and knocked down a triple off a catch.

Ola Adeogun provided the much needed force down low for San Beda as he thwarted the La Salle bigs while also taking care of the boards. Amer’s back-to-back hits made it a 31-23 score for the Red Lions but the lead quickly evaporated due to Caracut’s sizzling sniping from the three-point territory. The former San Beda red cub had five triples before halftime. However, the NCAA kings clinched to an eight point edge after 20 minutes of action.

Buckets from the veterans Jeron Teng, Kib Montalbo and AVO came on time for DLSU, but they could not contain the duo of Amer and Adeogun who anchored the defensive side of the Red Lions. After seeing their lead trim down to as one, 52-53, San Beda unleashed a 10-1 rampage to pull away heading into the fourth.

Poised to hang on for the victory was San Beda, who managed to put the Archers at bay. However, the defending FilOil champions would wake up from their second half slump on the defensive end and halted the Red Lions from further pulling away. Off a good stop on one end, Caracut once again drilled in another triple to make it a single-digit game.

Dela Cruz and Adeogun muffed their successive attempts that led to baskets on the other end for La Salle. In the dying seconds of regulation, San Beda was up by three with over 36 ticks to play. Montalbo, on the other hand, played the passing lanes and intercepted a pass that led to a fastbreak for La Salle. Caracut found a trailing Jeron Teng who made an under goal stab, while also grabbing a foul to tie the match at 76 with 17.6 seconds to go.

In the next play, defense once again propelled DLSU to notch the potential game winner as they forced San Beda to a turnover. However, Jason Perkins would be intimidated by Ola Adeogun, which caused the Green Archer to miss the layup shot that signalled an extension.

At overtime, Dela Cruz and Amer provided the quick baskets to give SBC a four point cushion. La Salle struggled to secure a rebound in the dying seconds; down huge, as their undersized five saw the Red Lions piling up the offensive boards late. The eight-point lead of the Red Lions with a little over two minutes to play was enough for San Beda’s first victory.

San Beda will next face UST on May 2, Saturday while DLSU looks to bounce back and get a win against LPU on May 6. Both games will be played at the FilOil Arena in San Juan.

The scores:

San Beda (86) – Amer 26, Adeogun 15, Dela Cruz 14, Koga 10, Sara 7, Mendoza 6, Tongco 6, Sorela 2, Tankoua 0, Soberano 0, Reyes 0, Presbiterio 0, Sedillo 0, Abuda 0

DLSU (80) – Caracut 22, Teng 13, Montalbo 13, Rivero 7, Van Opstal 7, Torralba 5, Tratter 4, Go 2, Navarro 2, Pascual 2, Muyang 2, Perkins 1

*Photo by Vyn Radovan