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NCAA: Lions beat Generals by 37 pts.

Jesse Bautista (left) and Philip Tampoc (right) of the EAC Generals guard Donald Tankoua of the San Beda Red Lions.  (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Jesse Bautista (left) and Philip Tampoc (right) of the EAC Generals guard Donald Tankoua of the San Beda Red Lions. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

By Jerome Lagunzad

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

Already assured of a Final Four berth, defending champion San Beda is keen on covering all the bases ahead of bigger battles.

The Red Lions showed no mercy against also-ran Emilio Aguinaldo College yesterday, dealing the Generals a sound 88-51 beating in the 93rd NCAA seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Gunner AC Soberano tallied 17 points, spiked by five of the team’s 14 triples, while forward Javee Mocon and Cameroonian Donald Tankoua came up with double-double performances as the Red Lions, saved for the opening minute, proved too much to handle for the erratic Generals.

It was the 14th straight victory and 15th overall in 16 matches for San Beda, giving itself more confidence going into its crucial showdown with archrival Letran on Friday and a keenly-awaited rematch with first-round tormentor Lyceum on Oct. 19.

“We’re happy we got this win and I hope that with our play today, we’ll be consistent about it until the end of the playoffs,” said Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez, who also got a game-high 12 assists from ace guard Robert Bolick.

The 6-foot-3 Mocon tallied 15 points and 12 rebounds while the taller Tankoua added 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks as they teamed up in the San Beda’s strong push in the opening frame after EAC scored the game’s first five points.

Soberano, getting extended minutes in the absence of sweet-shooting Fil-Am guard Davon Potts who is nursing a sprained ankle, waxed hot in the middle frames with 14 points before backups Kenmark Carino and Ranbill Tongco joined the fray in their merciless finish.

“I’m really happy everybody stepped up today,” added Fernandez. “This is the first time probably na we led by such big lead at the end of the game. Hindi man lang kasi umabot ng bente ‘yung (winning margin) namin before this one.”
First Game

SBC 88 – Soberano 17, Mocon 15, Tankoua 12, Abuda 10, Carino 8, Bolick 6, Tongco 6, Bahio 4, Noah 4, Presbitero 2, Adamos 2, Cabanag 2, Doliguez 0, Oftana 0.

EAC 51 – Onwubere 22, Tampoc 8, Garcia 6, Pascua 5, Bugarin 5, Bautista 3, Mendoza I 2, Munsayac 0, Corilla 0, Mendoza J 0, Neri 0, Diego 0.

Quarters: 26-11, 40-28, 60-34, 88-51.