San Beda vents ire on previously undefeated Malayan
REVENGE GAME. Evan Nelle turned in his best outing in the season to lead San Beda in avenging its loss to Malayan in last year's Finals.
San Beda 5-2
San Sebastian 1-4
Coming off a humbling loss to lowly Jose Rizal University, San Beda High School had nothing but bouncing back on its mind whoever it was facing next in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament.
Even if that bounce back had to come against defending champion and erstwhile unbeaten Malayan High School of Science.
Evan Nelle busted out with 27 points, the whole team played with a sense of urgency, and the Red Cubs upended the Red Robins for a well-earned 87-81 win on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Just three days ago, the boys from Rizal were upset by the previously winless Light Bombers. “May gusto kaming patunayan since natalo kami sa JRU,” team captain Sam Abu Hijleh said post-game.
That proved to be just the extra boost they needed as they finally played San Beda style basketball and dropped 12 triples compared to their opponents’ none.
At the forefront of it all was Nelle who swished five treys while also tallying six assists, three rebounds, and two steals.
The graduating guard poured in 15 of his total in the middle periods where the Red Cubs imposed their will and dominated the defending champions by a score of 43-29.
Of course, Malayan still kept coming and pulled to within 75-81 inside the last two minutes only to see Nelle hit his last three to keep them at bay for good. “Sobrang gigil ako kanina. Since we lost last year, ito na iniisip ko, bumawi sa Mapua. We wanted to beat them talaga,” he expressed afterward.
Along with the much-needed bounce back onto the win column now at 5-2, it was also much-awaited revenge for San Beda who were downed by the Red Robins in last year’s Finals.
Peter Alfaro and Ain Obenza chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively, of their own to make sure there wasn’t going to be a season sweep. “Mas importante sa amin yung game kaysa kanila kasi for them, they’re still number one even though they lost. Kami, we’re still chasing them,” head coach JB Sison said.
He then continued, “Mas kailangan talaga namin ‘tong panalong ‘to.”
Felled for the first time in seven games, the Red Robins go back to the drawing board as Clint Escamis’ 19 points, nine rebounds, and six assists as well as Will Gozum’s 19 points and seven rebounds proved insufficient.
SAN BEDA 87 – Nelle 27, Alfaro 15, Obenza 12, Tagala 10, Garcia 8, Sese 5, Abu Hijleh 4, Etrata 2, Mahinay 2, Nayve 2, Velasquez 0, Barbero 0
MALAYAN 81 – Escamis 19, Gozum 19, Sapinit 18, Bonifacio 7, Socias 7, Jabel 6, Lacap 3, Enriquez 2, Garcia 0, Sarias 0, Ramos 0
QUARTER SCORES: 17-11, 34-30, 60-50, 87-81
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