San Beda exacts revenge on Letran, scores twice-to-beat

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 06, 2015 07:42 PM
San Beda exacts revenge on Letran, scores twice-to-beat
BIG REVENGE. San Beda defeated archrival Letran and they did it in the most crucial of contests.

What difference a fully healthy Baser Amer makes for San Beda College in the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

With their floor leader back in form, the Red Lions bared their full set of teeth and ravaged archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 77-73, on Tuesday at the San Juan Arena.

Amer was the steadying force the five-time defending champions missed when they got blitzed by the Knights back in the first round. Scoring six of his 10 points in the second half all while keeping his team composed via constant huddles, he was the foremost factor San Beda clinched a top two finish and the twice-to-beat advantage that comes with it.

With the graduating guard spearheading the attack, the Lions powered their way into a 43-25 advantage at the half. Letran finally cranked up their offense and trimmed the deficit to 57-65 early in the fourth until Amer was sent into the court once again and orchestrated a 9-2 counter that re-established a 74-59 edge.

San Beda was nursing a nine-point lead inside the last two minutes, but the Knights still kept coming and mounted a 6-1 charge to scare at 73-77. Letran had a chance to cut their disadvantage even further, but Amer forced Mark Cruz into a hurried triple that was way off mark.

The Lions got contributions from across the board to completely make up for their 33 turnovers. The win allows the Lions to finish the elimination round at 13-5 and enter the Final Four for the 10th year in a row.

Happy with their playoff slot, but frustrated they let their opponents threaten, coach Jamike Jarin said in his post-game conference, “Give credit to the big heart by Letran. I’m just happy because the main goal was to make the Final Four and twice-to-beat and in one day, we got that.”

Rey Nambatac’s 16 points showed the way for Letran who sorely missed the usual numbers from Cruz and Kevin Racal. The senior duo combined to miss all but two of their 19 attempts from deep to see their squad fall to 12-5.

BOX SCORES

SAN BEDA 77 – Adeogun 13, Soberano 11, Amer 10, Tankoua 10, Koga 9, Mocon 9, Dela Cruz 8, Tongco 3, Cabanag 2, Sorela 2, Sara 0, Presbitero 0, Sedillo 0

LETRAN 73 – Nambatac 16, Cruz 12, Balanza 11, Luib 9, Quinto 8, Apreku 7, Racal 6, Sollano 2, Calvo 2, Publico 0

QUARTER SCORES: 19-15, 43-25, 61-48, 77-73

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