Champion San Beda, ‘darkhorse’ CSB dispatch UAAP foes to set up semis showdown

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 28, 2018 05:09 PM
San Beda, CSB dispatch UAAP foes to set up semis showdown
Robert Bolick and San Beda will be challenged by Justin Gutang and CSB in the semifinals of the Filoil Preseason

It could be an early preview of the NCAA playoffs when defending champion San Beda University and upstart College of St. Benilde collide in the semifinals of the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.

The Blazers were the first ones in the Final Four after Unique Naboa’s end-to-end play boosted them past University of the Philippines, 76-74, on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Down by one and with the ball in the hands of the Fighting Maroons, Naboa blocked Bright Akhuetie’s attempt from behind and then found himself finishing the ensuing fastbreak to grab the lead for CSB, 75-74.

Still, State U had 12.7 seconds to make something happen, but Yankie Haruna and Justin Gutang shut the door on Paul Desiderio. “From day one, it was all about defense. That’s the biggest part for us – that our identity held ‘til the end,” a beaming head coach TY Tang said post-game. 

Not long after, Carlo Young’s split from the stripe sealed the deal in the Blazers’ biggest win of the preseason thus far.

Naboa wound up with 12 points, three assists, and two steals while Gutang was all over the floor with 11 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds for resurgent CSB which is looking to bounce back from two down seasons.

Here in the preseason tournament, the Blazers will have a golden opportunity to send a statement in their matchup with the Red Lions on Friday afternoon still at the same venue.

San Beda set up the semis date after enduring a late onslaught from Sean Manganti and Adamson, 64-62.

The NCAA champions were in complete control early in the fourth, leading by as much as nine, until Manganti, all of a sudden, exploded with 18 of his 20 points in the last four minutes and a half.

In fact, Manganti tied the tally at 56-all inside the last two minutes, but Javee Mocon answered right back with a basket and bonus that granted the Red Lions the 59-56 edge it would keep until the final buzzer.

Manganti dropped a couple more threes to keep the Soaring Falcons threatening, but Mocon and Joe Presbitero made good on three of their four free throws to keep them at bay for good.

In the end, Mocon had a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double while Presbitero chipped in seven markers. Robert Bolick was also his usual self with 23 points, three assists, and two steals.

Just barely making out alive against Adamson, head coach Boyet Fernandez said his boys need to be better next game. “We have to be ready for St. Benilde. They’ve been playing great and they’re my darkhorse in the NCAA,” he said.

Manganti had Papi Sarr backstopping him with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Adamson ends its preseason campaign with a 6-3 record.

For UP, Bright Akhuetie showed the way with 22 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Even though they have now bowed out of the tournament, the quarterfinals finish is still their best in over a decade.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

CSB 76 — Leutcheu 16, Haruna 15, Naboa 12, Gutang 11, Domingo 8, Young 8, Belgica 2, Pagulayan 2, Pasturan 2, Barnes 0, Carlos 0, Velasco 0.

UP 74 — Akhuetie 22, Desiderio 15, Manzo 10, Jaboneta 8, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 6, Ju. Gomez de Liaño 6, Murrell 3, Dario 2, Prado 2, Gozum 0, Lim 0, Tungcab 0, Vito 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 18-16, 39-37, 58-54, 76-74.

SECOND GAME

SAN BEDA 64 – Bolick 23, Mocon 16, Presbitero 7, Tankoua 6, Tongco 3, Carino 3, Abuda 3, Doliguez 2, Cabanag 1, Canlas 0, Nelle 0, Oftana 0, Eugene 0

ADAMSON 62 – Manganti 20, Sarr 13, Ahanmisi 7, Lastimosa 7, Espeleta 5, Camacho 4, Colonia 2, Magbuhos 2, Catapusan 2, Mojica 0, Zaldivar 0, Maata 0, Bernardo 0

QUARTER SCORES: 10-10, 27-21, 40-34, 64-62

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