SAN Beda College Red Lions depended on Ola Adeogun, Baser Amer and Arthur de la Cruz’ combined 12 points in the crucial stretch to win over previously unbeaten Arellano University Chiefs on Saturday in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at The San Juan Arena in San Juan City.
Adeodun, Amer and De la Cruz led a rally to stop the Chiefs’ charge that reduced the gap to only three-points, 75-78 with just over two minutes remaining. The blitz by the deadly trio moved the Red Lions to a safer distance, 88-81, before De la Cruz scored the final point to secure their fourth straight win.
With the victory, the Red Lions, the winningest team in the league with 18 titles, regained the solo top spot, while the Chiefs suffered their first setback in three outings and dropped to the fourth spot behind the San Sebastian Stags (3-1) and University of Perpetual Help Altas (3-0).
Amer and Anthony Semerad connected a triple each to post the Red Lions’ biggest lead, 56-38, with still 5:45 left in the third quarter. But the Chiefs through Levi Hernandez, Dioncee Holts and Jiovani Jalalon struck with a 14-4 run to reduce the deficit to only six points, 70-76, with more than four minutes to go.
The three-year veteran Amer of Zamboanga finished with 18 points and seven assists. He was seven-of-13 from the field goal while Dela Cruz settled with 17 points.
On Monday, the Letran Knights and Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers face each other while Mapua Cardinals will try to enter into the win column when they battle the Lyceum Pirates.
Team Standings W L
San Beda 4 0
Perpetual Help 3 0
Arellano U 2 1
San Sebastian 3 1
EAC 1 2
Lyceum 1 2
Jose Rizal 1 2
Letran 1 2
St. Benilde 0 3
Mapua 0 3