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Red Lions still prove too much for Cards

Mapua’s Cedric Pelayo saves the ball against San Beda’s Javee Mocon during NCAA action at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. (MB photo | Rio Deluvio)

Mapua’s Cedric Pelayo saves the ball against San Beda’s Javee Mocon during NCAA action at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. (MB photo | Rio Deluvio)

by Jerome Lagunzad

Games Tuesday (The Arena, San Juan City)
12 noon. — Arellano vs Mapua (Jrs)
2 p.m. — Arellano vs Mapua (Srs)
4 p.m. — Perpetual Help vs San Sebastian (Srs)
6 p.m. — Perpetual Help vs San Sebastian (Jrs)

Even without head coach Boyet Fernandez and top gunner Robert Bolick, defending champion San Beda still proved too hot to handle for slumping Mapua yesterday, 88-70, for its ninth straight victory in the 93rd NCAA seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Shooter AC Soberano came off the bench and drilled in a team-high 17 points, spiked by three triples, while do-it-all big man Javee Mocon pumped in another double-double of 11 markers and 10 rebounds as the Red Lions re-asserted their mastery over the Cardinals behind a dominant second half.

More importantly, San Beda tightened its hold of second spot with a 10-1 mark, kept breathing heavily on the neck of pace-setting Lyceum (10-0) and further widened the gap from its closest pursuers for a Top 2 finish.

Seven other players added at least five markers in a balanced offensive attack that enabled San Beda to overcome the absence of the Fernandez, 6-foot-1 Bolick and key backup Clint Doliguez, who all served their one-game suspensions for their erring acts in the course of their 72-58 victory over St. Benilde three days ago.

“I’m happy with the way we played despite the absence of our two best players. What’s noticeable was everybody stepped up,” said San Beda team manager Jude Roque, who subbed in for acting coach JB Sison during the customary post-game interview.

“Mas maganda ‘yung naging ball movement namin and I’m happy that they didn’t look for a go-to-guy today,” he added, visibly satisfied with the Red Lions’ 14 total assists aside from 18 markers off the Cardinals’ 16 costly errors.

The scores:
San Beda 88 – Soberano 17, Mocon 11, Tankoua 9, Noah 9, Cabanag 8, Potts 8, Oftana 6, Tongco 5, Adamos 5, Abuda 4, Presbitero 2, Carino 2, Bahio 2.

Mapua 70 – Gabo 17, Aguirre 16, Nieles 13, Pelayo 9, Bunag 8, Raflores 4, Victoria 3, Orquina 0.

Quarterscores: 18-17, 40-32, 58-49, 88-70.

Second Game
Lyceum 83 – Perez 14, Ayaay 12, Nzeusseu 10, Caduyac 9, Pretta 9, Marcelino JC 7, Baltazar 7, Marcelino JV 6, Tansingco 5, Ibanez 2, Marata 2, Cinco 0, Liwag 0, Serrano 0.

St. Benilde 69 – Dixon 27, Leutcheu 13, Belgica 10, Domingo 6, Johnson 5, Sta. Maria 4, Castor 2, Naboa 2, Pili 0, San Juan 0.

Quarterscores: 23-10, 46-30, 66-53, 83-69.

Third Game
San Sebastian 81 – Calisaan 19, Calma 12, Costelo 11, Navarro 11, Bulanadi 9, Valdez 8, David 4, Baetiong 3, Mercado 2, Capobres 2, Gayosa 0, Ilagan 0, Are 0.

EAC 69 – Munsayac 14, Mendoza I 11, Bautista 10, Diego 10, Garcia 10, Onwubere 9, Bugarin 3, Pascua 2, Guzman 0, Corilla 0, Mendoza J 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 21-16, 38-33. 53-52, 81-69.

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