San Beda College needed the heroics of AC Soberano and Davon Potts late on, as the Red Lions took a character-building win against the University of Perpetual Help System-DALTA Altas, 84-75, to clinch the second twice-to-beat incentive on Tuesday afternoon.
AC Soberano torched the Altas to the tune of 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting, knocking down four triples in the process. Filipino-American gunslinger Potts added 15 points, eight coming in the final frame.
But instead of praising his two shooters, San Beda head coach Jamike Jarin praised the floor generalship of King Lion Dan Sara.
“We were patient. I have to give credit to Dan Sara,” Jarin remarked about Sara, who had six assists in the game. “That’s what I was looking for him for this tournament. Unfortunately, it got derailed because of his injuries.”
“Sometimes he just plays inconsistent, but right now he just held down the fort and made the right plays in the end. That’s what we’re looking for him.”
The contest was a tight affair, as both squads exchanged baskets and leads in a fast-paced final frame. With the Altas holding a 65-62 lead two minutes in the fourth quarter, third year gunslinger Soberano dropped back-to-back triples to give San Beda a three-point cushion.
Besides the offensive brilliance displayed by last season’s runners-up, San Beda’s pressing defense also paid dividends. They were able to force Perpetual into crucial turnovers that led to two baskets for Potts and a back-breaking triple by Robert Bolick with 3:17 left to extend their lead to 75-69.
Overwhelmed by the San Beda surge, the Altas tried to shoot themselves out of their struggles. However, the shooting woes hampered Perpetual’s hijack attempt as the lead continued to grow to 14 points, 86-72, after an unsportsmanlike foul was called on AJ Coronel.
Javee Mocon added a double-double for the Red Lions with 14 points and 13 rebounds, nine coming from the offensive end.
“You got Bright Akhuetie and [Prince] Eze but we got 15 players. Yun lang ang pagmamalaki ko. You have to deal with 15 players every game against San Beda,” Jarin closed.
Bright Akhuetie scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. GJ Ylagan also had his best game of the season with 16 points. However, Gab Dagangon struggled with his shot, going just 4-of-14 from the field.
As a team, the Red Lions were able to force Perpetual into 23 turnovers that led to 18 points.
The San Beda Red Lions (2nd, 13-4) can force a tie for top seed if they defeat the Arellano Chiefs (1st, 14-3) on Friday, September 23, at 4:00pm. On the other hand, the Perpetual Altas (T-3rd, 11-6) will break their tie with the Mapua Cardinals (T-3rd, 11-6) on the same day at 4:00pm.
SBC (84) – Soberano 18, Potts 15, Mocon 14, Bolick 9, Adamos 9, Presbitero 7, Sara 6, Oftana 3, Noah 3, Tongco 0, Alas 0, Bahio 0, Bonsubre 0, Navarro 0.
UPHSD (75) – Akhuetie 29, Ylagan 16, Dagangon 11, Coronel 9, Singontiko 5, Pido 2, Eze 2, Gallardo 1, Sadiwa 0, Dizon 0.
Quarterscores: 20-12, 37-35, 55-58, 84-75.
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