San Beda University had all the answers for Arellano University in a 59-46 decision and began their bid for a four-peat in the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament on the right note.
James Canlas scored 10 points on top of seven rebounds and two assists while “Bandana Bro” Evan Nelle also added nine markers, five dimes, and five boards. "We're happy we got this one. The players really stepped up," head coach Boyet Fernandez said post-game.
Donald Tankoua was, of course, still solid and had a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double to help the Red Lions to a 13-point romp to start their title defense.
Still, the defending champions actually found themselves trailing by one at halftime until Canlas, Nelle, and Tankoua restored order in the third quarter
Both the lead and the momentum would stay with them until the final buzzer.
In the end, Calvin Oftana and Clint Doliguez chipped in six points apiece for San Beda which has now triumphed in 14 straight season openers.
Along with the total team effort, coach Boyet lauded the efforts of his guards in slowing down Kent Salado who dropped 18 points and 11 rebounds in his return from an ACL injury.
He only had five points in the second half, however, thanks to the efforts of Canlas, Nelle, and Prince Etrata. "James had foul trouble in the first half, but he came back and stepped up while Evan took care of the point guard position. Etrata also came in and played good defense on Salado," their mentor said, nothing but appreciative.
After Salado, no other Chief was in double-digits as they started their season with a loss.
SAN BEDA 59 -- Tankoua 13, Canlas 10, Nelle 9, Bahio 6, Doliguez 6, Oftana 6, Carino 3, Abuda 2, Alfaro 2, Soberano 2, Etrata 0, Noah 0, Cuntapay 0, Obenza 0, Visser 0.
ARELLANO 46 -- Salado 18, Sablan 7, Arana 4, Bayla 4, Espiritu 4, Talampas 4, Gayosa 3, Sunga 2, Alcoriza 0, Concepcion 0, Oliva 0, Santos 0, Segura 0, Sacramento 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 15-7, 24-23, 43-35, 59-46.
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