Dela Cruz dominates as San Beda improves to 6-1
MANILA, Philippines – The stock of Art Dela Cruz continues to rise with one splendid performance after another.
Fantastic all NCAA season long, the San Beda Red Lions veteran was at his best again on Thursday, August 6, when he dropped 29 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals to lead his team past the JRU Heavy Bombers, 88-69, at the San Juan Arena.
The win improved the record of the 5-time defending champions to 6-1, as they continue to play impressively despite the absence of star point guard Baser Amer (shoulder) who’s expected to be out for over a month more.
Dan Sara and Ola Adeogun both played well for San Beda, too, finishing with 17 and 16 points, respectively. JRU, on the other hand, was led by the 16 points of Tey Teodoro, who was limited to just 3 points in the game’s final minutes as his team’s 3-game winning streak came to a halt.
Jordan Dela Paz finished with 16 points for the now 4-3 Heavy Bombers, who also received 9 points from John Paolo Pontejos.
An and-one basket by Karim Poutouochi kept JRU within striking distance, 69-64, late in the fourth quarter, but his shot was quickly countered by an and-one play by Adeogun and a floater by Dela Cruz that pushed San Beda’s edge to 10 with 3 and a half minutes to go.
After Sara and Ryusei Koga took turns in extending the Red Lions’ lead, a critical jumper from Pontejos cut the deficit to 12 for JRU. But afterwards, Dela Cruz hit another basket and Michael Sorela completed an and-one play to push San Beda’s lead to 83-68, which was enough of a leeway to hold on for the win.
The Red Lions will be back in action on Thursday, August 13, when they face the Arellano Chiefs in a rematch of last season’s finals.
JRU will be back at the San Juan Arena on Tuesday, August 11, to face Mapua.
San Beda (88) - Dela Cruz 29, Sara 17, Adeogun 16, Koga 7, Tongco 7, Sorela 7, Soberano 3, Tankoua 2, Cabanag 0, Reyes 0, Mocon 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0, Sedillo 0
JRU (69) - Teodoro 16, Dela Paz 15, Pontejos 9, Poutouochi 8, Abdul Wahab 8, Lasquety 4, Dela Virgen 3, Aurin 2, Balagtas 2, Grospe 2, Sanchez 0, Cruz 0, Estrella 0
Quarter scores: 20-15, 39-33, 58-54, 88-69 – Rappler.com