San Beda pounces on misfiring Letran, forces Game 3

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 27, 2015 07:23 PM
San Beda pounces on misfiring Letran, forces Game 3
HEART OF A CHAMPION. Down 0-1 for the first time in the Finals, San Beda responded in the biggest way possible.

Much like Game One of the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Colegio de San Juan de Letran was giving five-time defending champions San Beda College all sorts of problems making plays.

Unlike their series-opening win, however, it was the Red Lions who were just a bit better from the field as Kevin Racal, Mark Cruz, and company could not buy a basket on Tuesday at the MOA Arena.

Baser Amer and Dan Sara combined for eight points in the last five minutes while the San Beda defense only allowed one field goal and two free throws to hold on for a 68-61 victory that sets up a winner-take-all match with archrival Letran.

“It’s still a classic game. It doesn’t get any better than this,” coach Jamike Jarin said in his post-game conference. Even so, the performance of Jarin’s boys was far from pretty as they committed 32 turnovers.

Fortunately for the Lions, they made good on the plays they created while their archrivals could not make them pay for their miscues. The discrepancy in field goal percentages was simply glaring with San Beda making 56 percent of their 48 attempts compared to Letran hitting a paltry 29 percent of their 83 tries.

Still, with how badly they were shooting, the Knights were only behind 57-58 inside the last five minutes before Amer scored five straight points to stretch the Lion lead to 63-57. A quick hit from Racal was followed by a 1/4 trip from the line by JP Calvo and Rey Nambatac which nonetheless pushed Letran to 60-63.

Sara then drilled a big-time long-range bomb for a 66-60 San Beda advantage with 3:34 remaining. The Knights were given all the chances to respond, but instead ended up with three missed field goals, three of four muffed free throws, and two turnovers the rest of the way.

Art Dela Cruz and Javee Mocon merged for 25 markers while Amer finished with nine points and 11 rebounds to propel the Lions in evening the best-of-three series at one win apiece. “I’m lost for words for Baser and Javee,” Jarin said.

Letran was led by a scorching Mark Cruz with 21 points, but failed to convert on half of their 16 free throws and misfired on 21 of their 26 attempts from deep.

BOX SCORES

SAN BEDA 68- Adeogun 14, Mocon 13, dela Cruz 12, Amer 9, Sorela 7, Soberano 5, Sara 5, Tankoua 3, Koga 0, Cabanag 0, Reyes 0, Presbierio 0, Tongco 0

LETRAN 61- Cruz 21, Sollano 10, Luib 10, Racal 9, Balanza 6, Calvo 5, Apreku 0, Nambatac 0, Balagasay 0

QUARTER SCORES: 22-15; 33-30; 52-49; 68-61

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