The San Beda College Red Lions blasted the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 81-55, on Monday in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at the San Juan Arena.
Veterans Ola Adeogun, Kyle Pascual, Baser Amer, Anthony Semerad and last year’s Finals MVP Arthur de la Cruz struck heavily in the third period to keep their team unbeaten in five matches. San Beda holds the solo leadership midway in the first round of the elimination.
A blitz in the third quarter by Pascual, Adeogun and Semerad stretched the Red Lions’ lead by 19, 64-45, going into the pivotal period.
Jaypee Mendoza beefed up San Beda’s scoring spree by notching five-straight points capped by a triple in the left wing to post their first biggest lead, 77-53, with still 2:12 remaining. From there, it was a lopsided game in favor of the Mendiola-based squad.
With the setback, their third in four games, coach Gerry Esplana’s Generals dropped to a tie with the Letran Knights in the sixth to seventh spot. Their lone win was over College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 81-72, on July 2. Both Letran and Saint Benilde were still playing at press time.
Coach Boyet Fernandez expressed elation over the victory of the Red Lions, which will serve as fitting preparation for their important game against rival San Sebastian College Stags on August 1.
De la Cruz, son of former Philippine Basketball Association standout Art de la Cruz, finished with 12 points on five-of-nine shooting in the field plus 11 rebounds for the Red Lions, who are aiming to equal San Sebastian Stags’ five-straight championship victories in the oldest collegiate league in the country.
Team Standings W L
San Beda 5 0
Perpetual Help 3 0
San Sebastian 3 1
Arellano 3 1
Lyceum 3 2
Jose Rizal 2 3
EAC 1 3
Letran 1 3
St. Benilde 0 3
Mapua 0 5