FOUR-peat champion San Beda College Red Lions proved their mastery over the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals with a 74-69 win on Wednesday at the start of the second round elimination of the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Red Lions established a 22-point lead early in the fourth quarter en route to their eighth win in 10 matches. San Beda has now regained solo leadership but the Arellano University Chiefs, which were still playing at press time can also gain share of the top spot if they win against the San Sebastian College Stags.
After being benched by coach Boyet Fernandez in their game against Letran last week for failing to attend scrimmages, the 6’8 Nigerian Ola Adeogun bounced back by leading the Red Lions with 19 points, including 13 in the first half on top of 10 rebounds and two block shots.
With the victory, the Red Lions’ second over the Cardinals after beating the latter 89-55 in their first meeting on July 4, coach Fernandez’s team is poise to make it to the finals for the fifth straight time.
The Hong Kong native Joseph Emmanuel Eriobu Jr. led the Cardinals with 22 points. Mapua remains at the bottom of the standings with 1-9 win-loss card.