Lions, Tams reach semis
Defending champion San Beda secured a spot in the semifinal stages of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup after surviving Adamson, 64-62, Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Red Lions now face St. Benilde in the semifinals after Carlo Young’s spilt free throw lifted the Blazers past University of the Philippines in an earlier game.
Far Eastern University stole the spotlight from the reigning titlist when the Tamaraws also booked a ticket to the Final Four by outgunning La Salle, 76-69.
Hubert Cani scored 11 of the last 13 points for FEU, capped by a dagger step-back jumper with 27.8 ticks left for a 74-69 cushion.
“Facing the seasoned teams from Group A of the tournament helps us in our preparation for the coming UAAP season,” FEU head coach Olsen Racela said.
The Lions needed to quell a late rally by the Falcons before the victory as Adamson forward Sean Manganti caught fire midway through the payoff period, scoring 18 straight points that kept his team within a point, 63-62, with 3.4 ticks left.
But a Jose Presbitero free throw iced the win for the Lions.
“We knew that Adamson is a very strong team so I just reminded my players about our game plan,” said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez.
The Lions held a 37-23 lead in the second quarter, but the Falcons clawed back with an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to six, 40-34. San Beda made 19 free throws while Adamson only had two.
Robert Bolick led the Lions with 23 points while Javee Mocon came away with 16 markers and 11 boards.
Manganti had 20 points to lead the Falcons while Papi Sarr added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Cani spearheaded the Tamaraws with 22 points while Arvin Tolentino and Prince Orizu chipped in 10 apiece.
Young’s free throw with 3.3 ticks remaining in the game capped a five-point swing for the Blazers.
“I have to give credit to my coaching staff. I wasn’t in practice for three days due to hyper acidity. The boys really played to the game plan,” Blazers head coach TY Tang said.
Maroon Janjan Jaboneta’s inbound pass in the dying seconds of the game was stolen by Justin Gutang and sealed the win for the Blazers.
Clement Leutcheu led the Blazers with 26 points and seven rebounds while Yankie Haruna chipped in 25 markers. —WITH A REPORT FROM IVAN RUIZ L. SUING
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