NCAA: San Beda digs deep to withstand Letran rally

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 11, 2018 04:27 PM
NCAA: San Beda digs deep to withstand Letran rally
San Beda held on to sweep Letran in the eliminations of the NCAA Season 94

Just when San Beda University thought it had an easy win on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran came storming right back.

The Red Lions blasted off in a 25-point quarter and built up a 22-point lead before banking on their championship experience to fight off the hard-charging Knights, 74-68, and sweep their archrivals in the elimination round in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The defending champions were up, 67-45, early in the final frame before getting complacent and letting Letran back into the game. “It was really tough to give up 28 points in the fourth quarter,” head coach Boyet Fernandez said post-game.

Behind Bong Quinto, JP Calvo, and a 23-2 onslaught, the Knights rallied to as near as 68-69 with 16.8 ticks to go.

Sent to the line, Franz Abuda then made the first to grant San Beda a two-point lead, but missed the second.

Donald Tankoua was there, however, to tip the ball into the hands of Joe Presbitero who made good on the next four free throws to seal the deal in the Red Lions’ 11th win in 12 games.

In the end, Tankoua had with 19 points and nine rebounds while Javee Mocon had his own 12-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Presbitero wound up with four points, also his team’s last four points, to make sure San Beda overcame the loss of Robert Bolick who fouled out with under a minute remaining.

Bolick still had 13 points, five assists, and three rebounds.

Coach Boyet, though, wants much more from his wards. “When we were up by 22, they thought the game was over. That’s not acceptable. We’re not like that,” he said.

He then continued, “I hope they realize what’s happening right now that the game is not yet over until the final buzzer sounds.”

On a more personal note, the Red Lions have now gone 6-0 up against their archrivals since 2015. The Knights’ last win in the rivalry was in Game 3 of the Season 91 Finals.

For Letran, Quinto led the charge with 19 points, all but six coming inside the last six minutes. He also added five rebounds, four assists, and three steals while JP Calvo chipped in 16 markers, seven dimes, five boards, and two steals.

Taking too long to get going, however, they dropped to 7-4.

BOX SCORES

SAN BEDA 74 -- Tankoua 19, Bolick 13, Mocon 12, Abuda 7, Doliguez 7, Oftana 4, Presbitero 4, Cuntapay 3, Nelle 3, Soberano 2, Cabanag 0, Canlas 0, Carino 0, Tongco 0.

LETRAN 68 -- Quinto 19, Calvo 16, Muyang 11, Fajarito 10, Batiller 6, Ambohot 3, Taladua 3, Agbong 0, Balagasay 0, Celis 0, Galvelo 0, Mandreza 0, Yu 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 16-15, 35-32, 60-42, 74-68.

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