San Beda College reclaimed the solo lead while San Sebastian College and Jose Rizal University (JRU) also posted wins on Friday in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Red Lions won 83-71 over the reigning champion Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights in a match that nearly ended in a brawl. Rookie Davon Potts notched nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to help San Beda improve its win-loss record to 11-2.
San Beda’s center Benedict Adamos had another outstanding game, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds and a career-high six blocks. Javee Mocon contributed 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
Jom Solano posted 18 points and 16 rebounds while John Quinto had 17 points for the Knights. Letran’s win-loss record fell to 5-7 after suffering a five-game losing skid.
Pushing and shoving in the last seven seconds of the game nearly erupted into a full brawl if not for the intervention of cooler heads. Letran’s Jerrick Balanza was meted an unsportsmanlike foul for elbowing San Beda guard Jomari Presbitero. San Beda coach Jamike Jarin was also meted a technical foul.
In the other game, the Golden Stags escaped the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, 69-67, to improve their win-loss record to 4-9.
Guard Ryan Costelo, who led San Sebastian College’s second half onslaught, scored 13 of his 20 points in the last two quarters in addition to seven assists and two steals. Costelo’s feat allowed San Sebastian to reduce the deficit, 38-27.
“They finally learned to win and they stepped up defensively,” San Sebastian College coach Egay Macaraya said. “They also played with character and that’s what important. They are in love playing defense now.”
Forward Michael Calisaan finished with 15 points, including 10 in the second half, plus 13 rebounds and a block. Guard Regille Ilagan and swingman Allyn Bulunadi contributed 12 and eight points, respectively; to lead the Golden Stags to its third consecutive win.
“Before they were not committed to playing defense and they’re relaxing but now they are committed and they have the intensity to win. Credit to my players and I salute them for playing like this,” he added. “In the long run, I’m hoping we improve leading us to more wins not only this season but also next year when we host the NCAA,” Macaraya added.
Darell Menina, scored 12 points for Mapua.
The Cardinals’ win-loss record fell to 7-5 despite the 16 points and 21 rebounds output of Nigerian Allwell Oraeme.
The JRU Heavy Bombers, on the other hand, stretched its winning streak to four games by sinking the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates, 68-58, behind the spectacular performance of Teytey Teodoro and Ervin Grospe.
Teodoro registered 10 of his 21 points in the fourth canto while Grospe finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Bothh carrying 7-5 win-loss records, the Heavy Bombers and the Cardinals are now sharing the No. 4 spot.
“In the second round, I’m really happy the team has changed its attitude. Credit to the entire team but I want to see more effort in our defense,” said JRU coach Vergel Meneses during the postgame interview.
Center Abdoulad Poutouochi scored nine of his 14 points in the fourth frame plus seven rebounds while AbdulRazak AbdulWahab contributed 11 and nine rebounds also for JRU.
Guard Adrian Alban led Lyceum with 27 points and seven rebounds. The Pirates’ win-loss record dropped to 5-6.
JOSEF T. RAMOS