MANILA, Philippines - Superior on almost every front, defending champion San Beda gave title contender Jose Rizal U a grim reality check in a 96-81 drubbing yesterday in the NCAA men?s basketball tournament at the jampacked FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Red Lions relied on their resolute defense while drawing a sensational effort from American rookie Sudan Daniel to assure themselves of solo second spot at the end of the first round with an 8-1 record.
The Heavy Bombers couldn?t stop the 6-foot-8 Daniel, who finished with a career-high 31 points on 12-of-15 shooting on top of seven blocked shots in just 26 minutes.
?We were precise with our plays,? said San Beda coach Frankie Lim, after his team stretched its winning run to seven games. ?We frustrated them with our defense.?
Earlier, San Sebastian dodged the upset ax, escaping with a 77-74 victory over Mapua to move within a victory of sweeping the first round of the eliminations.
Jimbo Aquino delivered another solid performance for the Stags, dropping eight of his 22 points in the final period to hold off the Cardinals, who threatened at 74-75 after trailing by as many as 13 early in the second half.
A long jumper by Aquino gave the Stags a 75-71 lead, before his two free throws with 1:39 left provided enough cushion for the Stags, who dealt Mapua its seventh defeat.
?Jimbo (Aquino) is our go-to-guy and we made a key stop in the stretch,? said San Sebastian rookie coach Ato Agustin. ?We were just lucky in this game because we couldn?t even make the shots that we usually make.?
Daniel responded to JRU?s physical play with a dominant performance that included 12 points in the final period, including two thunderous slams, the last giving the Lions a 93-81 spread with 55 seconds remaining.
?It was Sudan?s biggest game,? said Lim. ?We just dumped the ball to him because I didn?t think they could match up against him.?
In juniors? play, San Beda downed Jose Rizal, 111-103, to seize solo second place with an 8-1 record, while reigning champion San Sebastian slammed Mapua, 96-62, to remain at No. 4 with a 6-2 slate.
SAN SEBASTIAN 77?Aquino 22, Abueva 12, Maconocido 10, Bulawan 8, Semira 6, Pascual 5, del Rio 5, Najorda 5, Najorda 5, Raymundo 3, Sangalang 1.
MAPUA 74?Acosta 16, Cornejo 15, Mangahas 14, Sarangay 13, Guillermo 5, Cinco 4, Pascual 2, Parala 2, Maniego 2, Stevens 1, Espinosa 0
Quarters: 14-9, 40-27, 62-56, 77-74
SAN BEDA 96?Daniel 31, Lanete 15, Gamalinda 11, dela Rosa 9, Tecson 9, Marcelo 5, Pascual 2, Taganas 2, Tirona 2.
JRU 81?Hayes 19, Sena 14, Wilson 13, Cagoco 9, Njei 8, Kabigting 7, Bulangis 7, Apinan 2, Agas 2, Agas 0, Salazar 0.
Quarters: 21-21, 50-42, 68-68, 96-81