San Beda showed too many weapons in the Red Lions’ most dominant triumph so far in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament.
And the superior performance immediately came after coach Boyet Fernandez issued a stern warning that no team in the league should be taken lightly.
Fernandez raised the alarm of complacency after the Lions scraped past the Mapua Cardinals last week to sweep the first round.
His Lions responded in an unforgiving way.
“It’s still a long way to go, but I hope we can sustain this type of game that we played today,” said Fernandez after the Lions dumped Emilio Aguinaldo College for the 22nd consecutive time with a 98-66 win at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan Tuesday.
But more importantly, the unbeaten Lions are now 10-0, inching their way to a comfortable position going into the Final Four.
“Our main objective is to make it to the top two right away, so that we’ll be twice-to-beat in the semis,” said Fernandez.
Sophomore guard Evan Nelle dished out 13 points and 11 assists, and gunslinger Clint Doliguez and beefy forward Donald Tankoua also scored 13 each as the Red Lions sent the Generals to their ninth defeat in 10 games.
Lyceum and Letran later downed their respective rivals to forge a two-way tie for second place at 7-3.
The Pirates survived the hard-fighting Arellano Chiefs, 93-90, while the Knights subdued the Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers, 81-61.
Ato Ular came a basket short of tying his career-high of 19 points in the Letran win, which was a lot closer than what the final score indicated.
This year’s hosts, the Chiefs, fell to 2-8 while the Heavy Bombers absorbed their seventh defeat in 10 games.
AC Soberano and Calvin Oftana also came up with solid contributions as well as Filipino-Canadian James Canlas, all of them conspiring in a huge second-quarter run that took the sting out of the Generals for good, 54-23.
With a first-rate defense that closed out on EAC’s shooters, the Lions limited the Generals to just eight points while unloading a scoring binge on the other end for that imposing 31-point advantage at halftime.
They were never threatened after that and even widened the gap, 89-48, with still four minutes remaining.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.