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San Beda successfully defends National Championship, routs Letran

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Due to the events and tragedy of Typhoon Nona, the organizing committee of the National Collegiate Championship, headed by chairman Rey Gamboa, deemed that there will be two champions for this year’s tournament.

That did not stop the San Beda College Red from putting up a dominating stand to defend their championship as the Red Lions blasted the reigning NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball champions, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 94-72, Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

Missing the services of leading scorers Kevin Racal and Mark Cruz, the Letran Knights struggled to put up points on the board in the opening quarter in scoring only 12 first quarter points. On the other end, the “chaotic defense” of the Knights were clearly missing as the Red Lions had a field day on the court in scoring 26 points. Robert Bolick and Davon Potts were unstoppable in driving to the paint while Radge Tongco and Dan Sara lit it up as well. In the closing moments of the first quarter, both AC Soberano and Jeric Balanza were called for unsportsmanlike fouls.

The Knights continued their horrid shooting in the second quarter in shooting just 29% from the field come halftime as they only found their offense behind Jeric Balanza’s nine second quarter points. Donald Tankoua torched the light interior defense of the Knights with nine points and 12 boards in the first half. With 2:24 remaining in the half, interim head coach Glenn Capacio and assistant coach Nap Garcia were assessed technical fouls due to a miscalled backcourt violation.

The Red Lions continued to pound their rivals in the second half with the lead going to as high as 30 points in the third quarter. Incoming senior Rey Nambatac and big man Jom Sollano hardly played in the second half while McJour Luib played in the last few minutes of the game to stabilize the unit placed by interim head coach Glenn Capacio. On the other side, Soberano, Javee Mocon, Dan Sara, and Cawin Oftana continued the blitz for San Beda. The Mediola cagers eventually took the game 94-72 to take home the National Championship for the second straight year.

“We still have to credit the organizers for pushing through with this tournament,” NCC Coach of the Year Jamike Jarin said about the tournament. “Yung continuity of the tournament will only make us better.”

However, Jarin downplayed the win as it is still too early to assess his team. “Potts and Bolick are very promising. They have the added spunk for this game since the game is nationally televised.”

Jarin closed in saying, “you cannot disrespect the game. Anything that is official, you have to give it your all.”

Filipino-American Davon Potts led the Red Lions with 11 points on 5/8 shooting from the field. He added seven boards as well. The Red Lions also had seven players score nine points apiece with Tankoua almost notching a double-double with nine points and 15 boards.

For the Knights, Jeric Balanza had 15 markers on just a 33% clip. Rey Nambatac added ten points.

As a team, the Red Lions bullied their way to a 50% shooting clip while the Knights were just 28.57% from the field. They also outrebounded their rivals 57-36.

With the win, the San Beda College Red Lions will take home the MVP Perpetual trophy for the first six months of the calendar year with the winner of the FEU-USC tilt gaining the trophy at the latter part of the year.

The Scores:
SBC (94) – Potts 11, Tankoua 9, Sara 9, Mocon 9, Tongco 9, Oftana 9, Soberano 9, Cabanag 9, Bolick 8, Noah 7, Sedillo 4, Presbitero 1, Carlos 0, Bonsubre 0, Adamos 0.
CSJL (72) – Balanza 15, Nambatac 10, Sollano 9, Dela Pena 6, Calvo 5, Gedaria 5, Publico 5, Apolonio 5, Bernabe 4, Luib 2, Apreku 2, Quinto 2, Balagasay 1, Caralipio 1, Ular 0.
Quarterscores: 26-12, 49-28, 76-51, 94-72.

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