Evan Nelle orchestrated another masterful performance by the San Beda Red Lions, pounding arch-rivals Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 75-63, Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Nelle scattered 12 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and two assists to lead San Beda to their 15th straight win in the NCAA Seniors Basketball Tournament, and their 29th straight overall.
“It’s really the players who really worked hard for this,” expressed decorated mentor Boyet Fernandez.
A strong start by the San Beda five of Nelle, James Canlas, Clint Doliguez, Donald Tankoua, and JB Bahio gave the Red Lions a 17-1 start.
Letran then battled back, knotting things up at 42-all in the third frame. But San Beda answered with a 20-0 blast to leave Letran in the dust.
“At least naka-recover kami. We went back to our defensive mentalities, made some stops, and had the 20-0 run. The effort of the players should be credited for this win,” said Fernandez.
Calvin Oftana had 16 points and six boards, while Doliguez added 13 markers. Canlas chipped in 12 points.
Letran fell to 9-6 after suffering their third straight loss. They now have only a full game lead over San Sebastian and Mapua for third.
Larry Muyang paced Letran had 13 points, five rebounds, and three dimes. King Calaripio and Jerrick Balanza had 11 markers each. Balanza only shot 2-of-8 from the field.
Bonbon Batiller went just 0-of-7 from the field, while Ato Ular was limited to just seven boards.
San Beda will next face the Mapua Cardinals on Friday. Before that, Letran look to snap out of their skid when they face the Arellano Chiefs on Thursday.
SBU 75 — Oftana 16, Doliguez 13, Nelle 12, Canlas 12, Bahio 6, Soberano 6, Tankoua 4, Carino 4, Visser 2, Abuda 0, Noah 0, Cuntapay 0.
CSJL 63 — Muyang 13, Caralipio 11, Balanza 11, Ambohot 9, Reyson 5, Ular 4, Mina 3, Balagasay 3, Batiller 2, Pambid 2, Yu 0, Sangalang 0, Javillonar 0.
Quarterscores: 24-16, 42-34, 62-42, 75-63.