San Beda, FEU emerge as NCC co-champions

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The San Beda College (SBC) Red Lions and the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws emerged as co-champions in the National Collegiate Championship (NCC) after beating their respective foes at the San Juan Arena on Thursday.

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Defending national champions San Beda defeated the Colegio de San Juan Letran (CSJL) Knights, 94-72 in the first game.

Filipino-American rookie Davon Potts led the Red Lions with 11 points and seven rebounds as they exacted revenge from their National Collegiate Athletic Association finals tormentor.

San Beda immediately dominated the opening period by posting 26 points resulting in an early lead going into second quarter.

The Red Lions sustained their offensive before the halftime break, outscoring the Knights, 23-16, to enjoy a 49-28 advantage midway through the match.

Letran attempted to retaliate in the third canto through the charge of Jeric Balanza, Rey Nambatac and Jomari Sollano. The Muralla-based cagers managed to outscore their foes from Mendiola in the last 10 minutes of play but the Red Lions foiled all of their attacks before the final whistle.

Seven players in coach Jamike Jarin’s camp registered nine points each with Donald Tankoua adding a total of 15 boards for San Beda.

Ballanza finished with 15 points while Nambatac and Sollano added 10 and nine markers, respectively.

Consequently, San Beda standouts Tankoua, Robert Bolick and Potts were named in the Mythical first team of the first game together with Letran’s Balanza and Nambatac.

In the other game, the Tamaraws beat the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 82-77.

Both teams plunged aggressively into the bout but it was FEU who took the upper hand after two quarters, 36-34.

The Warriors fought hard but FEU were able to sustain their pesky attacks to establish a 57-49 lead going into the final canto.

Despite the 28-points posted by the squad from Cebu in the fourth quarter, the Warriors failed to mount a comeback until the end of regulation.

Jojo Trinidad notched a total of 19 points while freshman center Ken Holmqvist contributed 17 markers and 11 rebounds for the Tamaraws.

Ian Tagapan finished with 20 points for the Warriors while the duo of Shooster Olago and Espoir Toyambi posted a combined total of 27 points and 13 rebounds.

K. Holmqvist, Prince Orizu, Trinidad, Tagapan and Olago were all named as members of the Mythical Team for the second game.

Holmqvist bagged the Most Valuable Player award after playing just a single game in the national collegiate basketball competition.

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