Lions maul Bombers; Altas overpower Chiefs
Attacking at every chance, Art dela Cruz continued his solid play as San Beda repulsed Jose Rizal U, 88-69, for its fourth straight win Thursday in the 91st NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Dela Cruz fired a career-high 29 points and dished out nine assists in another all-around performance that boosted the five-time defending champion Red Lions within a game off leader Letran with their sixth win in seven games.
Later, Nigerian center Bright Akhuetie exploded for 16 of his 31 points in the final period to power Perpetual Help past Arellano, 76-66.
The 6-foot-8 Akhuetie proved unstoppable down the stretch, taking the fight out of the Chiefs with his inside scoring, while reigning MVP Earl Scottie Thompson bounced back from his nightmarish outing against San Beda with 11 points and a season-high 16 boards.
The Altas improved to 5-2, while Arellano and JRU fell into a tie for fourth with 4-3 cards.
Dan Sara and Ola Adeogun also delivered big games, finishing with 17 and 16 points, respectively for the Lions, who led all the way.
Dela Cruz toyed with his defenders, missing just three of his 14 shots.
Adeogun also had eight rebounds for the Lions who made 53 percent of their shots while holding the Bombers to just 44 percent clip.
Meanwhile, the league Thursday slapped one-game bans on coaches Aldin Ayo of Letran and Atoy Co of Mapua for conduct “unbecoming and disrespect of the game.”
Ayo was already warned for ridiculing the referees by showing sunglasses in a game against San Sebastian a month ago. He finally got the axe when he threw a monobloc chair after a foul called on McJour Luib in the game against Lyceum.
Co was ejected in the win over Lyceum for two technical fouls with the second coming when he took off his shirt.
SAN BEDA 88—Dela Cruz 29, Sara 17, Adeogun 16, Koga Tongco 7, Solera 7, Koga 7, Soberano 3, Tankoua 2, Cabanag 0, Reyes 0, Mocon 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbiterio 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.
Quarters: 20-15, 39-33, 58-54, 88-69
PERPETUAL HELP 76—Akhuetie 31, Thompson 11, Dagangon 11, Eze 8, Coronel 7, Bantayan 3, Gallardo 2, Sadiwa 2, Cabiltes 1, Oliveria 0, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Elopre 0.
ARELLANO 66—Jalalon 14, Enriquez 12, Nicholls 8, Holts 7, Salado 7, Bangga 6, Cadavis 6, Capara 2, Gumaru 2, Ortega 2, Meca 0, Ongolo-Ongolo 0, De Guzman 0, Tano 0.
Quarters: 18-23, 32-36, 54-52, 76-66
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