Going for Lucky 13 | Inquirer Sports

Going for Lucky 13

Lions know key to stretching winning streak is to put clamps on Bulanadi
By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:02 AM September 24, 2019

Scouting intently in the stands, San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez suddenly had a light bulb moment when the Letran Knights shackled San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi.

“Most of San Sebastian’s offense come from him (Bulanadi). We have to do something about it,” said Fernandez, as he steers his defending champion Lions against the Stags Tuesday, shooting for San Beda’s 13th straight win in Season 95 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Bulanadi, the tournament’s scoring leader, will obviously be the focal point of the San Beda defense in the 12 noon game.

Running third in the MVP race, the high-scoring Bulanadi finished with 20 points, but couldn’t buy a bucket when the Knights tightened the noose in a 99-82 victory four days ago.

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The Knights, incidentally, tackle St. Benilde in the 2 p.m. contest before Arellano and Mapue try to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive at 4 p.m.

The challenge to restrain Bulanadi would be a team effort for the Lions, who take pride in winning games using defense more than anything else.

“We have to be consistent from start to finish, especially on the defensive end,” said Fernandez.

That effort Fernandez is talking about will fall on the shoulders of top MVP contender Calvin Oftana and Donald Tankoua in the paint and guards Evan Nelle, James Canlas and Clint Doliguez away from the rim where Bulanadi and peppery San Sebastian point guard RK Ilagan usually operate.

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Three more victories, including a repeat act on archnemesis Lyceum Pirates in the second round, will guarantee a top seeding in the Final Four for the Lions along with the luxury of a twice-to-beat edge.

“It’s going to be a week of hell as we face tough teams in our succeeding games,” said Fernandez.

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Losing five of their last six games, the Blazers (6-5) should find a way to arrest the skid to prevent Mapua overtaking them after the streaking Cardinals (5-6) won five of their last six assignments.

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TAGS: Basketball, Boyet Fernandez, NCAA

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