San Beda still has Letran's number in NCAA 95

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 10, 2019 04:36 PM
San Beda still has Letran's number in NCAA 95
San Beda has now triumphed over Letran in the archrivals' last seven meetings (Photo by Josh Albelda).

For four years running now, San Beda University has gotten the better of Colegio de San Juan de Letran - and that wasn't changing in their first rivalry game in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament.

The three-peat champion Red Lions stamped their class on their archrival Knights for a convincing 70-66 victory in the league's special Saturday showcase at Cuneta Astrodome.

"Bandana Bros." Evan Nelle and James Canlas were at the spearhead of the red and white's all-out offensive.

The rest of the starters also did their part as their first five just dominated their counterparts, 61-37. "My players did a good job and I salute them for that," head coach Boyet Fernandez said.

Letran was threatening at 66-70 with 15 ticks to go until the San Beda defense stood strong and forced a tough triple try by Jerrick Balanza.

That defensive stop sealed the deal in their fifth win in as many games to start the season.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Red Lions stretched their streak against their archrivals to seven wins in a row. The last time Letran won in the rivalry game was in their title-clinching Game 3 win back in 2015.

Nelle wound up with a team-high 18 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. He also, however, turned the ball over eight times and muffed on 3-of-8 free throws, all coming in the endgame.

Still, coach Boyet said he will, time and again, put his full faith on his sophomore playmaker. "Evan (may) miss all the way, he'll still be my guy," he said.

He was backstopped by Donald Tankoua who had 15 points as well as Canlas and Calvin Oftana who also added 11 markers apiece.

For the Knights, Jerrick Balanza showed the way with 20 points on top of five assists and three assists. Unable to match up with their archrivals' starters, however, they suffered their second setback in seven games.

BOX SCORES

SAN BEDA 70 - Nelle 18, Tankoua 15, Canlas 11, Oftana 11, Alfaro 6, Doliguez 6, Soberano 3, Abuda 0, Bahio 0, Carino 0, Cuntapay 0, Etrata 0

LETRAN 66 - Balanza 20, Ular 11, Yu 9, Olivario 7, Muyang 6, Ambohot 4, Caralipio 4, Balagasay 4, Batiller 1, Mina 0, Reyson 0, Sangalang 0, Javillonar 0

QUARTER SCORES: 21-17, 39-32, 62-51, 70-66

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