The San Beda College (SBC) Red Lions nipped the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, 80-77, in a back-and-forth matchup in the last day of eliminations of the 2015 FilOil-Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
SBC opened the first quarter with a 9-4 cushion, but their lead disappeared after UE, with baskets from Chris Javier, Paul Varilla, and RR De Leon, sent it to a 14-all tie with 3:34 left. The Red Lions enhanced their lead 18-14 with back-to-back baskets from Art Dela Cruz, but still failed to close the quarter in their favor as UE went back from behind to head into the second frame all tied at 22, thanks to baskets made by Bernard Awana, Joshua Gonzales, and Shannon Gagate.
An Emil Palma jumper gave UE a 24-22 lead in the following quarter, but SBC caught fire in the offensive end, scoring ten straight points behind Ola Adeogun, Pierre Tankoua, Ranbill Tongco, and Mychole Sorela to seize the lead, 32-24, 5:58 in the quarter. Jordan Sta. Ana halted the run, 32-26, but an 8-0 run lifted SBC 40-26 with less than four minutes to go. The Red Warriors, meanwhile, erased the deficit via 13-5 run led by Sta. Ana to end the half lagging by just six, 45-39.
The Mendiola-based cagers swung to a 55-47 lead midway into the third canto. UE, however, did not let SBC to lead by double-digits anymore, slowly crawling back to the game by fishing for fouls and pounding the rock inside the paint. Their efforts paid off, closing in within striking distance, 58-55, eight seconds before the two-minute mark. But, then again, SBC worked their way inside to regain authority, with Sorela, Javee Mocon, and JP Mendoza chipping in baskets to take away the third quarter in their side, 65-58.
It was UE’s turn to show up in the final chapter, converting a 68-60 deficit to just two points, 68-66, behind Edgar Charcos and Varilla in the 6:49 mark. SBC stretched back the gap to six, 72-66, with less than six minutes to go, but UE surged back to trim the deficit to just a single point, 74-75, with 2:34 in the game. The Red Lions reestablished a 79-74 lead, but UE scored three more, 79-77. SBC led 80-77 after a split FT from Amiel Soberano, giving UE a glimmer of hope to send it into an extra period. However, a missed triple by UE sealed it for SBC.
“UE is a contender. They pushed us back and forth, left to right,” said SBC Head Coach Jamike Jarin, who was all praises to UE for giving them a hard fight all throughout.
Dela Cruz led SBC with a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Pierre Tankoua scored 16, while Sorela added 13 markers. Sta. Ana led UE with 17 points off the bench in a losing effort.
With SBC’s win and UE’s loss, they now share the same record with 6-2 apiece. Both teams will wait for the results of the DLSU-UST game to determine the seeding for the quarterfinals.
SBC 80 – Dela Cruz 17, Tankoua 16, Sorela 13, Mendoza 9, Adeogun 9, Koga 7, Mocon 4, Tongco 2, Sara 2, Soberano 1, Reyes 0, Presbitero 0, Sedillo 0.
UE 77 – Sta. Ana 17, Javier 15, De Leon 13, Varilla 11, Awana 7, Charcos 6, Palma 2, Gonzales 2, Gagate 2, Larupay 2, Manalang 0, Batiller 0, Cruz 0, Cudal 0.
|SBC (B, 6-2)||22||45||65||80|
|UE (B, 6-2)||22||39||58||77|