Dela Cruz carries pride as Lions freeze Cardinals

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 25, 2015 02:25 PM
Dela Cruz carries pride as Lions freeze Cardinals
GO SAN BEDA FIGHT. San Beda College proved their character in prevailing against daring Mapua.

Art Dela Cruz getting warned for taunting is not a usual sight.

With San Beda College under the gun of daring Mapua Institute of Technology on Friday at the San Juan Arena, however, he called for isolation, banked in a triple, and then yelled his lungs out at defender Justin Serrano who still had his arms up.

Dela Cruz’s trey capped off a personal 5-0 run that halted the rallying Cardinals and pushed the Red Lions to a 75-65 win that vaulted them into the top of the standings in the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament (Perpetual and Letran will match them if they win their later games).

San Beda lost a lead of as high as 22 points when Cardinal Darell Menina caught fire from outside. Four unanswered points from Josan Nimes then got Mapua to their most threatening, 60-61, inside the last five minutes.

It was at that point that Dela Cruz took over and re-established a 66-60 Red Lion lead with 3:52 remaining. Allwell Oraeme again closed the Cardinals to 65-68, but also muffed a fastbreak lay-up and committed a crucial turnover in the last two minutes.

Dela Cruz finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds while Baser Amer turned in his best game of the season with 15 points and nine rebounds. Reacting to his team’s rise to first at 12-4, coach Jamike Jarin said, "I’m just happy we were able to win. Iba today e."

Oraeme and Menina had 15 points apiece to show the way for now 10-6 Mapua who weren’t able to muster a strong enough finishing kick. The loss is the season hosts’ first in the second round.


SAN BEDA 75 - Dela Cruz 17, Amer 15, Tankoua 12, Tongco 12, Koga 10, Adeogun 7, Mocon 2, Cabanag 0, Soberano 0, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0.

MAPUA 65 - Oraeme 15, Menina 15, Nieles 10, Nimes 9, Braña 6, Serrano 4, Isit 2, Aguirre 2, Raflores 2, Biteng 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 23-12, 41-26, 58-48, 75-65.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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