Behind Donald Tankoua, the San Beda University Red Lions weathered the Arellano University Chiefs’ late rally to take a 73-66 win, Friday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Up by a comfortable 60-49 margin early in the final frame, Kent Salado and Jade Talampas connived, sparking a 10-0 run for the Chiefs to cut the lead down to just one.
“Unang una, I salute coach Cholo [Martin] and the rest of the Arellano team. They did a good job today. They rallied back, cutting the lead to just one. But our defense stepped up,” said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez.
Fortunately for San Beda, Donald Tankoua then took the team on his back. He scored eight straight points from the inside to restore order.
Tankoua had 20 points and nine rebounds.
“Without Donald, we will not win this game. I’m happy he stepped up. I’m sure that the other teams will try to stop him,” shared Fernandez.
Arellano then managed to cut the lead down to as low as four points, 66-70, with 37 ticks left. Unfortunately, Evan Nelle proved steady from the foul stripe to buck the Chiefs.
Nelle had eight points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Meanwhile, Clint Doliguez and James Canlas added 12 and 11 markers, respectively.
“Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call for us,” lamented Fernandez.
With the win, San Beda extended their streak to 23 games, lifting their slate to 11-0 for the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball Tournament. Arellano, on the other hand, dropped to 2-9.
Justin Arana paced Arellano with 23 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocks. Gelo Sablan added 11 points, while Salado and Talampas had 10 markers each.
San Beda look to hike their record to 12 when they face the JRU Heavy Bombers on Thursday, September 19 at 2:00 pm. Meanwhile, Arellano take on the same team first on Tuesday.
SBU (73) – Tankoua 20, Doliguez 12, Canlas 11, Nelle 8, Oftana 8, Soberano 6, Bahio 3, Cuntapay 3, Cariño 2, Abuda 0, Etrata 0, Alfaro 0, Noah 0.
AU(66) – Arana 23, Sablan 11, Talampas 10, Salado 10, Bayla 5, Oliva 4, Alcoriza 3, Concepcion 0, Gayosa 0, Espiritu 0, De Guzman 0, Sunga 0.
Quarterscores: 23-15, 40-31, 57-49, 73-66