Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras did not have the debut they wanted.
Behind an all-around outing by Donald Tankoua, the San Beda University Red Lions held off the shorthanded University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 75-65, to open their 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup campaign, Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, UP did not have Juan Gomez De Liano, Javi Gomez De Liano, Will Gozum, and Jun Manzo for the game.
“Well, we really expected a tough game. We considered UP as one of the stronger teams right now because of their recruits. Sayang wala yung Gomez de Liano brothers,” said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez.
“Still, a good win for us,” he added.
Tankoua showed his complete arsenal in the contest with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Moreover, the NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball MVP flaunted his extended range in the contest, going 2-of-2 from downtown.
Tankoua’s second triple of the contest gave San Beda a 67-56 lead with 4:38 left.
“Donald’s been practicing that shot. We are now calling him Donald Sison because JB Sison is teaching him how to shoot those threes. Those are a product of his hard work,” Fernandez remarked about Tankoua.
It also did not help UP’s cause that Rivero fouled out of the game with three minutes left in the third quarter. The UAAP Season 80 Most Improved Player finished with 18 points.
Paras, who also had 18 points, tried to will UP back late. Unfortunately, big baskets from Evan Nelle and JB Bahio stopped the Fighting Maroons from their tracks.
Nelle and Bahio had seven points each, with the former dishing out five dimes as well. James Canlas added 13 markers for San Beda, who are gunning for their third Filoil crown.
James Spencer – who stepped up in lieu of Manzo and Juan Gomez de Liano – had 14 points,.
San Beda will next face the Mapua Cardinals on Friday, May 10 at 11:00am. Meanwhile, UP will look to enter the win column when it takes on Arellano Chiefs on Tuesday, May 7 at 5:00pm.
SBU 75 –– Tankoua 24, Canlas 13, Nelle 7, Bahio 7, Doliguez 7, Oftana 5, Soberano 4, Cuntapay 3, Obenza 3, Fornis 2, Abuda 0, Etrata 0, Noah 0, Carino 0, Penuela 0, Alfaro 0, Visser 0.
UP 66 — Rivero 18, Paras 18, Spencer 14, Webb 4, Akhuetie 4, Prado 4, Jaboneta 2, Murrell 2, Longa 0, Gob 0.
Quarterscores: 21-16, 36-32, 56-52, 75-66.