Bolick wills San Beda one step closer to 9th title in 11 years
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 06, 2016 06:30 PM
THE BUS STOP. Robert Bolick and San Beda remain a riddle for Jiovani Jalalon and Arellano.
San Beda College remains perfect against Arellano University in the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Their latest win, their fourth in as many tries, was their biggest yet as the Red Lions outlasted Jiovani Jalalon and Arellano University, 88-85, to claim a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three Finals.
“I have to commend all the 15 men, playing or not playing,” a more jovial than usual coach Jamike Jarin expressed after his wards won the all-important Game 1 on Thursday at the MOA Arena.
Like he has been doing all throughout the playoffs, Robert Bolick was the shining star with 24 points, including the go-ahead basket and the insurance free throws that vanquished a one-point deficit and eventually ended up as the margin of victory.
The rookie-transferee also collared 10 rebounds all while getting up in the grill of Jiovani Jalalon. “Nobody can guard Jalalon, but he was there every play,” Jarin said of his emerging two-way force.
Bolick and team captain Dan Sara connived to slow down “The Bus Driver” who still had 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, but missed 11 shots and committed five turnovers.
However, it was still Jalalon who spearheaded the Chiefs in battling back from a disadvantage of as much as 13. It was also his triple that tied the tally at 80 before cramps forced him back to the bench at the 5:17 mark of the final frame.
Still, Arellano rallied around their court general to take away an 85-84 lead. The two teams then exchanged a couple of defensive stops before Bolick’s layup finished a fastbreak to take back a one-point advantage for the Lions with 1:16 remaining.
From that point, San Beda shackled their opponents and allowed no more makes. A couple of charities and a closeout on Jalalon’s Hail Mary by Bolick later, they stand one more step away from their ninth title in the last 11 years.
Sara almost had a triple-double with six points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists for the Lions while Ben Adamos and Arnaud Noah combined for 30 points and 14 rebounds to outplay Dioncee Holts and Lervin Flores who only had 12 points between them.
Even with a 4-0 record against Arellano through the tournament, Jarin reminded everybody that their job is not yet done. “We just need rest and we’ll (make) another run at ‘The Bus Driver,’” he expressed.
That “another run” is scheduled on Tuesday still at the MOA Arena.
By then, the Chiefs will have to do better than getting outscored in transition, 4-15.
SAN BEDA 88 – Bolick 24, Adamos 16, Noah 14, Potts 11, Sara 6, Mocon 6, Presbitero 6, Soberano 3, Oftana 2, Tongco 0
ARELLANO 85 – Jalalon 21, Salado 19, Gumaru 10, Holts 8, Meca 7, Nicholls 5, Villoria 5, Flores 4, Cadavis 4, Aguilar 2, Enriquez 0, Canete 0
QUARTER SCORES: 28-20, 54-49, 70-69, 88-86
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.