Arthur Dela Cruz posted his first triple-double to lift reigning champion San Beda College Red Lions to an 83-75 win over the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers on Thursday in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 91 men’s basketball at The Arena in San Juan City
The pro-bound Dela Cruz finished with 26 points via 10-of-13 shooting in the free throw line plus 15 rebounds and 10 assists. The Red Lions now hold a record of 10 wins and two losses.
“Yes I’m very ready to play in the Philippine Basketball Association. I need to be consistent with my performance,” Dela Cruz, who was Blackwater’s ninth overall pick in the recent PBA rookie draft, told reporters during post game interview.
The 6’8 Nigerian Ola Adeogun posted 23 points and 12 rebounds for San Beda while Pierre Tankoua added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Baser Amer returned to active play after missing eight games because of a right shoulder injury had five assists and four rebounds.
“It’s big for us that he is back,” said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin of Amer.
JRU’s Tey Teodoro scored nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help the Heavy Bombers seize the lead, 69-67, over the Red Lions with still seven minutes to go.
But Adeogun scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to allow San Beda to regain the lead. JRU failed to sustain its charge in the last five minutes allowing the Red Lions to win the game.
John Pontejos finished with 19 points for the Heavy Bombers. JRU’s win-loss record dropped to 6-5.
In the first game, returning player Jason Nimes led the Mapua Cardinals to an 87-78 victory over the San Sebastian College Golden Stags. The win is their sixth in 11 games.
Nimes, who did not play in the last three games because of hamstring injury, delivered eight of his 18 points in the payoff period to power the Golden Stags’ late rally.
“I’m really happy that I’m back to help the team,” said the pro-bound Nimes during the post game interview. “It is good to be back.”
Nimes is Rain or Shine’s 12th overall pick in the recent PBA rookie draft.
In the high school division, the San Beda Red Cubs routed the Jose Rizal Light Bombers, 95-71 to stretch their winning streak to 12-0, while the Robins outlasted the Staglets, 86-64, to remain at No. 2 with a 10-1 record.