MANILA, Philippines – Teams in NCAA Season 95 have yet to find an answer for the undefeated San Beda Red Lions, who cruised to a 75-63 win against rival squad Letran Knights at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Tuesday, October 1.
Already holding a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs of their 4-peat title bid, the Red Lions still did not take their foot off the gas as they collected their 15th straight win, while Letran slipped to 9-6.
After Letran charged its way back into the game with an 8-0 run to start the 3rd quarter tied 42-all, San Beda responded in a way only champions could. Powered by leading MVP candidate Calvin Oftana, the Red Lions embarrassed their rivals to the tune of 20 straight points to end the frame up 62-42.
With captain Jerrick Balanza struggling mightily down the stretch, Letran simply did not have enough firepower to mount a comeback. Sophomore guard Evan Nelle then put the Knights out of their misery with a layup off the steal for the 21-point gap, 75-54, with 3:25 to spare in the 4th.
Oftana led 4 Red Lions in double figures with 16 points and 6 rebounds off the bench, while the backcourt tandem of Nelle and James Canlas added 12 markers apiece.
Larry Muyang and King Caralipio paced Letran off the bench with 13 and 11 points, respectively, as Balanza was held to 11 markers on 2-of-8 shooting.
Meanwhile, looking to clinch their third straight finals appearance, the LPU Pirates fended off a red-hot Mapua Cardinals squad with a 77-71 win capping off the day's triple-header.
The ever-pesky Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino ran all over the Cardinals' defenses as they led the Pirates' bench mob with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Cameroonian bruiser Mike Nzeusseu anchored things on both ends with a 13-marker, 13-board double-double as LPU rose to 11-3 for the season.
Both teams traded blows deep into the 4th quarter, with Mapua last holding a 65-64 lead in the 3:25 mark off a Warren Bonifacio putback.
However, the Pirates soon turned the tide to their favor as the Marcelino twins made key stops leading to a Nzeusseu and-one layup with 1:36 remaining for the 6-point gap, 73-67. Niño Ibañez and Reymar Caduyac then quickly sealed the deal with two quick buckets for the double-digit lead, 77-67, at the final minute of regulation.
Justin Serrano led the Cardinals in the losing effort with 17 points off the bench built on 3 out of 4 triples. Bonifacio added 15 markers as Mapua slid to 7-7 for the season, snapping a four-game winning streak.
Finally, the EAC Generals managed to start a winning streak by escaping the reeling Perpetual Help Altas, 80-76, in the day's curtain-raiser.
After a 10-game losing skid spread over 76 days, the Generals have now won two straight but are still in the cellar with a 3-11 record. However, the Altas are now not too far behind as they fell to 3-10 for the season after their fifth straight loss.
Jethro Mendoza led the squeaker win with 22 points off the bench as Kriss Gurtiza added 13 markers and 5 boards also from the pine.
Tonton Peralta paced the listless Altas with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting while diminutive guard Edgar Charcos chipped in a 14-marker, 11-rebound double-double.
EAC 80 - Mendoza 22, Gurtiza 13, Maguliano 11, Luciano 9, Taywan 7, Martin 7, De Guzman 6, Gonzales 4, Boffa 1, Cadua 0, Corilla 0, Dayrit 0, Carlos 0, Estacio 0.
Perpetual 76 - Peralta 21, Charcos 14, Aurin 12, Razon 11, Adamos 8, Giussani 5, Cuevas 3, Martel 2, Labarda 0, Tamayo 0.
Quarters: 13-24, 35-39, 54-55, 80-76.
San Beda 75 - Oftana 16, Doliguez 13, Nelle 12, Canlas 12, Bahio 6, Soberano 6, Tankoua 4, Carino 4, Visser 2, Abuda 0, Noah 0, Cuntapay 0.
Letran 63 - Muyang 13, Caralipio 11, Balanza 11, Ambohot 9, Reyson 5, Ular 4, Mina 3, Balagasay 3, Batiller 2, Pambid 2, Yu 0, Sangalang 0, Javillonar 0.
Quarters: 24-16, 42-34, 62-42, 75-63.
LPU 77 - Jc. Marcelino 14, Nzeusseu 13, Jv. Marcelino 10, Remulla 8, Pretta 8, Caduyac 7, Navarro 6, Ibanez 4, Tansingco 3, Yong 2, Valdez 2, Santos 0.
Mapua 71 - Serrano 17, Bonifacio 15, Victoria 9, Lugo 7, Gamboa 7, Bunag 4, Gonzales 3, Nieles 3, Aguirre 3, Garcia 3, Nocum 0, Salenga 0, Jabel 0.
Quarters: 13-19, 36-33, 55-46, 77-71.