MANILA, Philippines – The Centro Escolar University Scorpions wanted to play the spoiler role, refusing to go down easy and yield to the reigning NCAA champion San Beda Red Lions.
Despite CEU’s best efforts, it was San Beda that prevailed once again with a little bit of luck on its side.
The Red Lions outdueled the pesky CEU Scorpions, 63-62, in an exciting and closely fought affair on Friday, June 6, at The Arena in San Juan City.
Beda’s victory earns them a ticket to face the DLSU Green Archers in the finals of the 2014 FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup in a battle between defending UAAP and NCAA senior’s basketball champions.
Art Dela Cruz proved to be the best player in the contest, recording 15 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists. He also had one of the biggest shots in the game late in the fourth quarter.
With a little over four minutes left, an inventive, behind-the-back dribble by Alfred Batino gave him an open lane to the rim, where he cut San Beda’s lead to one, 61-60. Both teams would then struggle to produce from the field, until the big bucket by Dela Cruz put Beda up three with 1:30 to go.
However, the Scorpions answered right away, as Batino nailed another bucket over the tough defense of Adeogun, 63-62.
After the San Beda big missed an easy short stab on the other end, a clanked three by Rodrigue Ebondo rewarded the Red Lions the ball once again. Nonetheless, Baser Amer missed a critical, tough jumper, giving their opponents an opportunity to win the match with 8.7 seconds left.
With the game and a finals berth on the line, John Casino attempted a three after getting open courtesy of a screen, but his shot faded left, and so did the Scorpions’ hope of advancing.
“We’ll be ready even if one game preparation lang.” Dela Cruz said of his team’s matchup with La Salle after the game. He also mentioned that it was rewarding to beat CEU, which has become a rival of San Beda’s.
Samboy De Leon spearheaded the fight for the losing side, recording 16 points and six rebounds in his squad’s downfall. Batino pitched in as well with a double-double of 12 markers and 10 boards.
SBC raced off to an early start, building a six-point cushion, 8-2, in the first quarter.
Late in the third quarter, a soft punch attempt by Tongco led to his ejection from the game, and the cancellation of Anthony Semerad’s put-back lay-up. Moments later, a tip-in by Adeogun was counted, rewarding the guys in a red an eight-point cushion heading into the final period.
The Nigerian big man finished the match with 16 points and 13 boards, and played a critical role in protecting the paint against CEU in the game’s first three quarters. – Rappler.com
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.