MANILA, Philippines –After four straight losses, the San Sebastian Stags ended the first round on a winning note over the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 78-61, in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Friday, October 14 at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
The Stags snapped their skid to improve their record to 3-5 while the Generals dropped all their nine assignments in the first round, where the St. Benilde Blazers (7-1) and Lyceum Pirates (7-2) emerged as pacesetters.
Jose Rizal University (5-2), San Beda (6-3), and defending champion Letran rounded out the top five (6-3).
Alex Desoyo had 11 points, 3 assists, and a steal to led the Stags, who fended off the Generals’ comeback attempts before surging ahead with a strong second half.
“Syempre ‘yung team naman medyo mababa [ang] morale kasi apat na sunod-sunod na talo, pero sabi sa’min ni coach, ‘Wala pa ring imposible kasi may second round naman,’”said Desoyo, who earned Player of the Game honors.
(Of course our team had low morale because we lost four straight, but as coach told us, nothing is impossible because we still have the second round.)
Jessie Sumoda fired 7 of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, while Rhinwill Yambing also scored 10 for the Stags.
“Alam namin na kaya naman sa sarili namin, na naglaro kami as a team kaya nakuha namin ‘yung panalo. Lahat nag-contribute, lahat nag-trabaho,” Desoyo added.
(We know that we’re capable to play as a team that’s why we got the win. Everyone contributed, everyone worked hard.)
JP Maguiliano led the way for EAC with 19 points while Adam Doria scored 12.
San Sebastian 78 – Desoyo 11, Sumoda 10, Yambing 10, Altamirano 8, Concha 8, Are 6, Villapando 5, Felebrico 5, Una 5, Cosari 4, Calahat 3, Shanoda 3, Escobido 0.
EAC 61 – Maguliano 19, Ad. Doria 12, Bajon 5, Balowa 5, Dominguez 4, Cosejo 3, Luciano 3, Liwag 2, Quinal 2, Tolentino 2, An. Doria 2, Angeles 2, Umpad 0.
Quarters: 18-10, 30-31, 52-43, 78-61.
– Ivy Ferrer/Rappler.com