Lions get back at Blazers for solo lead
OLA ADEOGUN fired a season-high 28 points to power San Beda past St. Benilde, 78-54, yesterday and lift the Lions to the solo lead in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Dominant inside the paint, the 6-foot-7 Nigerian hit 7 of 13 shots and missed only four of 18 free throws while grabbing 16 rebounds as the Red Lions shook off a flat start to secure their 10th win in 12 games, half a game ahead of the idle Arellano Chiefs.
It was Adeogun’s third straight game with a double-double output in points and rebounds, after his benching in the loss to Letran.
“I needed to step up in the second round because we can no longer afford to lose,” said Adeogun. “The team should be playing with the playoffs in mind.”
The victory avenged the Lions’ 83-76 loss to the Blazers in the first round and coach Boyet Fernandez said the outcome of their meeting last month played into his players’ heads.
“We didn’t want to get beaten by St. Benilde again,” said Fernandez. “It was a tough win. There were ghosts of that first round meeting, but the players trusted the system and the rotation after the poor start that we had.”
The Blazers entered the game as one of the league’s hottest teams, winning seven of their last eight games. And they jumped the gun on the Lions early on with Luis Sinco leading them to a 16-9 advantage in the first period.
SAN BEDA 78—Adeogun 28, Amer 13, Koga 9, Abatayo 9, Dela Cruz 6, Sara 5, Mendoza 4, A. Semerad 2, Mocon 2, D. Semerad 0, Pascual 0.
ST. BENILDE 54—Taha 12, Grey 10, Saavedra 9, Sinco 7, Bartolo 6, Romero 5, Nayve 3, Ongteco 2, Jonson 0, Pajarillaga 0, Altamirano 0.
Quarters: 9-16, 26-21, 53-34, 78-54