FIVE-peat champions San Beda College Red Lions trounced the San Sebastian College Stags, 92-81, to regain share of top spot on Thursday in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Nigerian Ola Adeogun finished with 28 points on top of 12 rebounds and one assist while Arthur de le Cruz posted 13 points and nine rebounds to secure their seventh win against a lone loss.
Rookie coach Jamike Jarin’s squad’s lone defeat was to their archrival Letran, 80-93, on July 16.
In the other game, the Lyceum of the Philippines Pirates thrashed the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 69-55, to establish a three-way tie at the bottom of the standings. The Pirates, the Generals and the San Sebastian College Stags are all bearing similar 2-7 win-loss cards at the end of the first round elimination.
Cameroonian Victor Ngudjol led the Pirates with 12 points, 13 rebounds and two block shots but it was Joseph Gabayne who initiated the Pirates’ charge in the first half. Gabayne notched 11 points, nine rebounds, three assists and a block stopping his team’s four-game losing skid.
“I told my teammates to just play their usual game because we really need to win this game and we did,” said Gabayne.
Francis Munsayac led the Generals with 15 points while Hamadou Laminou contributed eight points and Raymund Pascua and Dan Kenneth Corilla had six each.
“Our big guys gave us a lift, we took it strong inside,” said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson referring to their 57 rebounds compared to only 37 of the Generals.
The Letran Knights will stake their share of the top spot when they face the Mapua Cardinals at 2 p.m. today while the Arellano University Chiefs battle the College of Saint Benilde Blazers at 4 p.m.
In the high school division, the Letran Squires will take on the Mapua Red Robins at 10 a.m. followed by the Arellano Braves vs. St. Benilde-LGHS Greenies match at 12 noon.