San Beda turns back JRU; San Sebastian nips Letran
It was far from dominant, but for a San Beda squad facing enormous expectations it was enough.
With Ola Adeogun throwing his weight around inside the paint, the Red Lions kicked off their bid for a fifth straight crown in the 90th NCAA Season by grinding out a 57-49 victory over the Jose Rizal U Heavy Bombers Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-foot-7 Adeogun tallied 20 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, justifying his billing as a lead candidate for the league’s most outstanding player this season.
Later, Jamil Ortuoste buried a clutch triple with 19 seconds remaining to lift San Sebastian to a thrilling 85-83 win over last year’s runner-up Letran.
CJ Perez had 20 points, but it was Ortuoste who buried the biggest baskets of the game with the ace playmaker also nailing a triple with 3:40 remaining that put San Sebastian on top, 76-75.
It was the Knights who faltered in the dying seconds with Kier Quinto and Mark Cruz throwing the ball away in their last possessions.
The Heavy Bombers made life difficult for the Red Lions, slowing the defending champions down with their suffocating defense. But it proved temporary as San Beda ultimately showed too much firepower.
“We’re happy to get this first win out of the way, especially with all the distractions and pressure brought by the league opening,” said coach Boyet Fernandez, whose Lions are seeking an eighth title in nine years.
SAN BEDA 57—Adeogun 20, Pascual 9, Dela Cruz 8, Amer 6, A. Semerad 4, Abude 3, Mocon 3, Cabanag 2, Tongco 2, Koga 0, Mendoza 0, D. Semerad 0.
JRU 49—Paniamogan 12, Lasquety 9, Mabulac 6, AbdulWahab 6, Balagtas 6, Benavides 4, Asuncion 2, Sanchez 2, Teodoro 2, Salaveria 0, Grospe 0, Manuel 0.
Quarters: 14-11, 29-21, 46-31, 57-49.
SAN SEBASTIAN 85—Perez 20, Ortuoste 16, Dela Cruz 15, Yong 9, Fabian 7, Guinto 7, Calisaan 6, Aquino 3, Balucanag 2, Camasura 0, Pretta 0, Costelo 0.
LETRAN 83—Racal 20, Ruaya 13, Cruz 13, Quinto 12, Nambatac 11, Gabawan 8, Calvo 3, Tambeling 3, Castro 0, Saldua 0, Apreku 0, Singontiko 0, Publico 0.
Quarters: 23-25, 38-41, 60-70, 85-83.
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