San Beda outworks Letran for a shot at top-seed

San Beda outworks Letran for a shot at top-seed
DEEP. San Beda had contributions from everybody from Robert Bolick to Clint Doliguez and from Donald Tankoua to Franz Abuda to complete their season sweep of Letran.

Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon let San Beda College continue to be dominant in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament, but it’s the contributions of guys like Franz Abuda and Clint Doliguez who let them be downright scary.

That much was evident on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre as Abuda and Doliguez turned the tides in favor of the Red Lions as they upended their archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran for a 73-68 decision.

Abuda and Doliguez only scored six and five points, respectively, but it was their hustle and defense that proved to be the key to the defending champions’ 15th consecutive victory. “Clint and Franz made me look good today,” a more than satisfied head coach Boyet Fernandez said.

The Knights took control in the third quarter and still led, 63-61, inside the last five minutes before Bolick willed a layup through the outstretched arms of Jeo Ambohot. “I will not take this game away from Letran. They really needed to win this game to make it to the Final Four, but we also had to win this game to prepare us for our next game,” Fernandez said.

That tying basket was then followed up with back-to-back hits off offensive rebounds for Abuda and Doliguez. “Our glue guys really played good defense. It was defense and hustle that won us the game,” their mentor said.

With those seven unanswered points, San Beda mounted a 63-63 lead with 2:24 remaining.

The cushion would hold for the remainder of the game.

In the end, Bolick had 13 points and six assists while Donald Tankoua pounded in 15 markers and eight rebounds of his own.

Little-known Calvin Oftana also had much welcome contributions with 13 points, seven in the first quarter, to go along with five rebounds.

Along with completing a season sweep of their archrivals, the Red Lions also remained in the running for the top-seed with a 16-1 standing.

They will try for that when they wage war against league-leading Lyceum of the Philippines University next Thursday in the same venue.

On the other hand, the loss drags down Letran onto a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff berth along with also 8-9 Arellano University and San Sebastian College-Recoletos.

Bong Quinto posted an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead them in the losing effort.

That the three-way tie stays until the end of eliminations is a possibility as the Chiefs’ final assignment is up against 10th-running Mapua University, the Knights’ last opponent is ninth-running College of St. Benilde, and the Chiefs still have eighth-running University of Perpetual Help left on their schedule.

BOX SCORES

SAN BEDA 73 – Tankoua 15, Bolick 13, Oftana 13, Mocon 8, Soberano 6, Abuda 6, Doliguez 5, Potts 3, Noah 2, Bahio 2, Adamos 0, Cabanag 0

LETRAN 68 – Quinto 18, Balanza 16, Calvo 12, Nambatac 8, Ambohot 7, Taladua 4, Vacaro 3, Balagasay 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0

QUARTER SCORES: 21-14, 33-31, 52-53, 73-68

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