San Beda Eyes Five-peat

San Beda sets out for a record-equaling five-peat in the NCAA basketball tournament Season 90. | Photo: Pula

Abarcar, Villaruz To Miss Season 90

San Beda relegates academically troubled substitutes Francis Abarcar and Ritchie Villaruz to the Red Lions’ Team B. | Photo: PBA Online


Benilde Scores Major Upset Over Defending Champion San Beda In NCAA Shocker

College of Saint Benilde used a huge fourth quarter to topple defending champion San Beda, 83-76, in NCAA Season 90 action Monday at The Arena in San Juan.

Mark Romero scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth period to help the Blazers shock the Red Lions and hand them their first defeat of the season.

Benilde had their guns ablaze early, starting the game with an 11-0 run to stun San Beda.

But the Red Lions quickly recovered, countering a 10-0 run to come back and finish the first period down by two points, 25-23.

It was a seesaw battle since then, as no team was able to pull away with a comfortable lead. Ryusei Koga, Art Dela Cruz and Baser Amer were providing quality production for San Beda, while Romero, Paolo Taha and RJ Argamino were carrying the Blazers.

Both teams found themselves tied after the second quarter (37-all) and third quarter (55-all) before Benilde took control of the game down the stretch.

With the game tied at 71-all, Romero carried the cudgels for Benilde after scoring three straight layups to give the Blazers a 77-71 lead with 1:30 left.

Robert Bartolo then trickled in a baseline jumper to cap an 8-0 run which put Benilde comfortably ahead, 79-71, with one minute remaining.

Dela Cruz drained a triple to trim San Beda’s deficit, 79-74, but Taha made free throws on the other end to complete Benilde’s upset.

Benilde evened its record to three wins and three losses, while San Beda suffered its first loss of the season after winning five straight.

Meanwhile, Velasco also hopes that the growing support for their basketball team continues, in victory and defeat.

The crowd plays a big factor in our victories and they’re our energizer. I hope they continue to support us in victories and in defeat.”


Mighty Red Lions Stand In Way Of CSB Blazers' Bid To Shed 'Heartbreak Kids' Label

College of St. Benilde are out to establish a new identity in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, but the Blazers are set to take on an opponent that dealt them the loss that defined their season last year. 

The Blazers have unfortunately earned the tag as the league’s heartbreak kids following a series of close defeats since last season, including a gut-wrenching 70-71 loss at the hands of San Beda on that fateful opening day last year. 

On Monday, the Blazers face the Red Lions for the first time this year. “Malaking bagay `yung nangyari sa amin last year,” Blazers coach Gabby Velasco admitted ahead of the rematch set at 2 p.m. at The Arena in San Juan. 

“Hopefully this is going to be a different story this year - not for the worse, but for the better.” The Blazers (2-3) are riding the momentum of a two-game winning surge, including a 79-72 victory over Mapua last Friday. 

But the Taft-based dribblers are facing a mighty Red Lions side that is also seeking to sustain its dominance in the league. 

The Red Lions are the only undefeated team remaining with five victories and an average winning margin of 18.6 points. And that’s mainly due to a vaunted defense that allows opposition just 61.1 points per game. San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez still remembers the Blazers’ opener last year, which set their bid for a fourth straight title in motion. “We nearly lost that first game, so it’s a lesson for us,” Fernandez said. 

“We just hope we can match their intensity like last year.” The Blazers boast a prolific wing trio in Mark Romero, Paolo Taha, and Jonathan Grey, but would need to get solid production from their role players for them to stand a chance against the defending champions.

“We have to be smart and play with so much energy against this team,” Velasco said. “We’ll just do our best and hope we’ll have a chance in the end.”


Coach Boyet Calls Out Officiating On Ola Adeogun

Foul trouble is the reason for Ola Adeogun’s subpar performance in the season so far, that’s according to San Beda Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez.

“It’s really the fouls that hinder his game,” said Fernandez after their 81-55 drubbing of the EAC Generals.

In San Beda’s 5-game stretch so far, Ola has fouled out twice. He’s been averaging close to a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds but only playing with 21 minutes per outing.

“The guy has been called for fouls every time”, said Coach Fernandez. “I’m just asking the commissioner and the referees to just look at the tape and call it good for Ola”.

Coach Fernandez stresses out that it gives some sort of an advantage to their opponents.

“Ola is just too big and too strong,” said Coach Fernandez. ” Sometimes other people will hit him and the referee will think that Ola hit them so they’ll call a foul”.

But the coach remains hopeful that Ola will overcome this problem, especially in their next match against the CSB Blazers who got their first win of the season in their last match against Letran.

“We’re really teaching Ola to take good care of his fouls and hopefully next game hindi siya mafa-foul trouble uli.”


San Beda Overwhelms EAC For 5-0 Mark

Defending champion San Beda overpowered Emilio Aguinaldo College, 81-55, to remain unbeaten in the NCAA Season 90 men’s basketball tournament Monday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

The Red Lions clamped down in the second half, where they outscored the Generals, 39-21.

“We just made a big defensive adjustment in the second half,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.

Fil-Australian forward Anthony Semerad scored 16 points while Art dela Cruz had 12 points for San Beda, which hiked its record to 5-0.

“In the first half, EAC burned us with a lot of second chance points. Thankfully, we took that away from them in the second,” said Fernandez.

Rookie Jerald Serrano tallied 12 points for the Generals, who drew futile scoring from their main hitters Noube Happi and John Tayongtong. Happi and Tayongtong combined for just 13 points.

EAC has now lost three straight after winning its opening game.


Limiting Ola Adeogun's Fouls A Key As San Beda Stake Unbeaten Slate Against EAC

If San Beda can manage even with Ola Adeogun saddled with foul trouble, imagine what the Red Lions can accomplish if the Nigerian slotman can stay out of it. 

The defending champions seek to sustain their unbeaten start in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament as they collide with Emilio Aguinaldo College on Monday at The Arena in San Juan. 

The Red Lions have been successful in their last two games even with Adeogun averaging just 19 minutes of play due to foul trouble, with Baser Amer, Art dela Cruz, and Anthony Semerad taking the cudgels. 

But Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez is asking his 6-foot-8 star center to limit his fouls for the Red Lions to have a better chance in stretching their winning streak to five games and keeping the solo lead. 

It seems more like an order for Adeogun especially with San Beda facing a team bannered by another top foreign big man in Cedric Happi, who’s averaging league-bests of 13.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks on top of 14.3 points, two assists, and one steal in 33.7 minutes per game. 

“Hopefully Ola will be staying out of foul trouble with Happi playing,” Fernandez said ahead of the 2 p.m. encounter. 

Adeogun is not far behind of Happi as far as statistics are concerned, norming 13 points, 9.3 boards, 1.5 blocks, and 1.3 assists, although he is limited to just 21.5 minutes of action on the court. 

The Nigerian, though, flashed his potential when given ample playing time as he scattered 20 points, 14 boards, two blocks, two assists, and one steal in 32 minutes during the Red Lions’ opening game of Season 90, a 57-49 win over Jose Rizal University. 

Other than Happi, the Red Lions also have to worry about sharpshooter Jan Jamon, and playmakers John Tayongton and Ariel Aguilar, who are all eager to recover for the Generals after suffering a 65-73 defeat at the hands of University of Perpetual Help. 

A win for EAC will improve the squad’s win-loss record to an even 2-2.