by Waylon Galvez
Games Today (The Arena, San Juan)
8 a.m. – Perpetual Help vs Letran (Jrs)
10 a.m. – Lyceum vs Mapua (Jrs)
12 n.n. – Perpetual Help vs Letran (Srs)
2 p.m. – Lyceum vs Mapua (Srs)
4 p.m. – JRU vs Arellano (Srs)
6 p.m. – JRU vs Arellano (Jrs)
It didn’t take long for San Beda University to figure things out as it downed Emilio Aguinaldo College right on its home turf.
Despite a slow start, the Lions managef to produce runs to remain perfect in three games following an 89-72 victory over the Generals in the 95th NCAA Men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the EAC Gym in Paco, Manila.
Filipino-Canadian guard James Canlas-Kwekuteye scored 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, including 4-of-7 from three-point area with five rebounds and three assists as he led a balanced attack by San Beda.
Evan Nelle also had a big game as he contributed a career-best 15 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Calvin Oftana came off the bench to add 14 points while Cameroonian Donald Tankoua had 13 points and 11 boards, and Clint Doliguez added 10 points.
San Beda didn’t have the start that coach Boyet Fernandez wanted to as EAC – cheered on by the home crowd – opened a 12-2 lead.
However, the Red Lions quickly turned things around as they tightened their defense to unleash a 27-6 that gave them a 29-18 advantage which they wisely protected.
The win gave San Beda a 21-0 record against the Taft-based EAC squad, which has yet to beat the 22-time NCAA champion since it joined the oldest collegiate league in the country in 2009.
Fernandez gave credit to EAC, particularly Generals’ new mentor Oliver Bunyi.
“They really prepared well today. They really started strong. They really gave us a tough game today. They even beat us in rebounding. That’s what they said, they will be a scrappier team this year and they showed it today,” said Fernandez.
“But these guys (Red Lions) will always play hard and give 100 percent for this team. They really stepped up, not only on offense but on the defensive end,” said Fernandez, referring to Canlas-Kwekuteye and Nelle.
While the Generals controlled the rebounding department, 50-47, the Red Lions limited their opponent to nearly 35 percent shooting from the field, while shooting almost 46 of their own attempts from the field.
EAC, which now sports a 1-2 record, got 20 points from Marwin Taywan, while Kriss Gurtiza added 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Meanwhile, Gilas pilipinas Youth standout Rayyan Amsali delivered a solid performance as he collected 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 94-70 Res Cubs win over the Emilio Aguinaldo University Brigadiers in junior’s division game.
Wilmar Oftana added 14 points and six boards, while Yukien Andrada and Hans Nicdao contributed 12 and 11, respectively, as SBU improved to 3-0 while EAC fell to 0-3.
SAN BEDA 89 – Canlas-Kwekuteye 21, Nelle 15, Oftana 14, Tankoua 13, Doliguez 10, Bahio 6, Abuda 5, Soberano 2, Cariño 2, Cuntapay 1, Alfaro 0, Etrata 0, Obenza 0, Visser 0.
EAC 72 – Taywan 20, Gurtiza 15, Maguliano 13, Mendoza 10, Luciano 7, Estacio 2, De Guzman 2, Dayrit 2, Carlos 1, Gonzales 0, Cadua 0, Boffa 0, Martin 0, Corilla 0.
Quarters: 24-16; 45-29; 71-45; 89-72.