San Beda stays unblemished as Letran, Mapua extend win streak
MANILA, Philippines – The San Beda Red Lions flexed their balance offense and grabbed their 13th straight victory over the gritty San Sebastian Colleges – Recoletos (SSC-R) Stags, 91-76 in the NCAA Season 95 basketball tournament on Tuesday, September 24, in FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
James Canlas led the 6 double-digit scorers of San Beda as he displayed a perfect 5-of-5 shooting in the first half and finished with 20 points, 4 boards and 5 dimes while big man Donald Tankoua had 18 points and 7 rebounds.
Lead MVP candidate Calvin Oftana had his moments in the 3rd frame and scored 15 points with 8 rebounds while AC Soberano and Clint Doliguez fired 14 and 10 points, respectively.
San Beda found their rhythm in the perimeter early and closed the opening quarter with a 13-point lead. Stags, though, stormed back in the second through their short runs and trimmed the lead 53-41 at the end of first half.
Allyn Bulanadi came alive in the 3rd frame and kept San Sebastian close as they entered the final kanto with a 9-point deficit.
Top guard Evan Nelle, who had an all-around performance with 11 markers, 7 assists and 5 rebounds, orchestrated the offense of the Red Lions in the fourth quarter and dropped a dagger triple in the last minute of the match to grab a commanding 91-73 advantage.
RK Ilagan and Bulanadi top scored their squad with 16 and 14 points apiece while Rommel Calahat posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards as San Sebastian fell to their second consecutive loss with 7-5 card.
Yu, Letran cruise past St. Benilde
Meanwhile, Fran Yu fueled a late rally in the endgame to help the Letran Knights pick up their back-to-back wins over the struggling College of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers, 87-74.
Despite his first half struggles, Yu came in clutch and scored 13 of his 19 markers in the 4th quarter and added 8 assists and 4 boards while Ato Ular led the scoring with 20 points and 8 rebounds.
Bonbon Batiller shrugged off his poor shooting with his all-around performance as he piled up 13 points, 8 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals as Larry Muyang manned the paint with 10 markers and 6 boards for the Knights, who improved to 9-4 card.
Letran unleashed an 11-4 run to grab a 24-17 lead at the end of the opening frame, but CSB quickly replied with their their own 12-2 rally at the start of the second period to snatch the lead, 29-26.
After a close third quarter, the momentum shifted to the side of the Knights as Yu found his stroke beyond the arc and nailed a trey to push the lead of Letran to eight, 82-74 with 1:49 remaining in the clock.
Yankie Haruna charged in for the 6-6 Blazers with 19 points and 5 rebounds while Justine Gutang and Edward Nixon fouled out early and settled with 9 and 7 points, respectively.
Mapua strengthen case for Final Four, downs Arellano
On the other hand, the Final Four run of Mapua University (MU) continues as the Cardinals poured down bombs from the rainbow country to secure their third straight victory at the expense of the Arellano University (AU) Chiefs, 93-67.
Mapua showcased their bench’s firepower as Justin Seranno tallied 15 points and 8 boards while Joaqui Garcia showed efficiency and fired 12 points in in less than 10 minutes with 4-of-5 shooting from 3PT territory.
Cyril Gonzales and Laurenz Victoria had 14 and 10 points each as Noah Lugo chipped in 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists for the Cardinals, who improved to 6-6 slate and wound up tied with St. Benilde.
Warren Bonifacio also made an impact with 11 markers and grabbed 4 of his 6 boards in the offensive end.
The explosive guards of both squads took charge from the get-go, but Lugo and Victoria took the upper hand and edged Arellano 42-33 at the end of the 1st half.
Mapua started to drop bombs from beyond the arc at the 2nd half as Gonzales and Garcia heated up from downtown and pushed their lead to 17 at the end of 3rd quarter.
The Chiefs looked stunned and cold in the 4th frame while the fiery shooting of the Cardinals extended with Garcia hammering the final nail in the coffin with a triple that gave them an 81-60 lead with 6:53 left.
Frisky guard Kent Salado spearheaded the 3-10 Chiefs with 23 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds while Rence Alcoriza scored 14 points in a losing effort.
San Beda 91 – Canlas 20, Tankoua 18, Oftana 15, Soberano 14, Nelle 11, Dolinguez 10, Bahio 2, Cuntapay 1, Abuda 0, Alfaro 0, Carino 0.
SSC-R 76 – Ilagan 16, Bulanadi 14, Calahat 12, Sumoda 9, Capobres 8, Calma 7, Desoyo 4, Altamirano 3, Cosari 3, Loristo 0, Villapando 0, Isidro 0.
Quarters: 30-17, 51-43, 71-62, 91-76.
Letran 87 – Ular 20, Yu 19, Batiller 13, Muyang 10, Balanza 8, Ambohot 6, Caralipio 5, Olivario 4, Mina 2, Balagaysay 0, Javillonar 0, Reyson 0.
CSB 74 – Haruna 19, Gutang 9, Dixon 7, Belgica 6, Carlos 6, Leutcheu 6, Naboa 6, Young 6, Sangco 4, Nayve 3, Flores 2.
Quarters: 24-17, 36-40, 64-61, 87-74.
MU 93 – Serrano 15, Gonzales 14, Garcia 12, Bonifacio 11, Lugo 11, Victoria 10, Nocum 5, Aguirre 4, Bunag 4, Gamboa 3, Jabel 2, Salenga 2, Dela Cruz 2, Nieles 2.
AU 67 – Salado 23, Alcoriza 14, Espiritu 7, Sunga 6, Arana 3, Bayla 3, Concepcion 3, Sablan 3, Talampas 3, Segura 2, De Guzman 0, Sacramento 0.
Quarters: 19-15, 42-33, 69-52, 93-67.