San Beda possesses the manpower advantage other teams can only dream of. Perpetual Help unfortunately absorbed the full strength of that depth on a day it played its worst game of the tournament.
The result? The Red Lions rolled to their sixth consecutive victory with a 102-56 thumping of the Altas on Friday to register the most lopsided match in the men’s basketball tournament of NCAA Season 95.
“We really prepared well for this game and got solid contributions from a lot of people,” said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez.
Seldom-used shooting guard Ain Obenza played a vital role in sustaining San Beda’s onslaught with a pair of threes while AC Soberano put on the finishing touches on the 46-point rout that sent the Altas to their fifth defeat in seven games.
The Red Lions were practically aided by a defenseless Perpetual side, who allowed the defending champions to pull away and establish a double-digit cushion early.
“We will win ball games because of our defense, not our offense. Our offense will just come in once we make those crucial stops,” said Fernandez, whose Lions automatically became the solo leader after the St. Benilde Blazers fell to the Lyceum Pirates, 74-71, in the other game.
Lyceum climbed to 6-1 behind San Beda as JC Marcelino and Mike Nzeusseu helped the Pirates snap the Blazers’ five-game winning streak.
Soberano nailed five triples and scored 15 points together with brutish center Donald Tankoua, who also pulled down six rebounds and had two steals.
Sophomores Evan Nelle and James Canlas also lit up the scoreboard with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, the rising Mapua Cardinals thumped the Jose Rizal U Heavy Bombers, 83-63, in the other match, thanks to the heroics of Laurenz Victoria and Paolo Hernandez.
Victoria buried five triples and finished with 24 points while the rookie Hernandez chipped in 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting as the Cardinals notched their third straight win after a 0-5 start.
The Heavy Bombers gamely fought in the first half but consequently slowed down in the next two quarters that led to their fifth defeat in eight games.
JRU fought to within eight in the final period before Victoria and Hernandez joined forces in a 14-2 closing run that sealed the deal for the Cardinals.