Manila Bulletin

Red Lions sur­vive Pi­rates, 87-80

- By CHRIS­TIAN JAC­INTO First Game SAN SE­BAS­TIAN 91 – EAC 77 – Sec­ond Game SAN BEDA 87 – LYCEUM 80 –

Games To­day (The Arena, San Juan) 12 p.m. - Per­pet­ual vs Be­nilde 2 p.m. - Arel­lano vs Ma­pua 4 p.m. - Le­tran vs Jose Rizal

San Beda sure knows how to bounce back from a bit­ter de­feat. Fresh off from sting­ing loss to fel­low con­tender Univer­sity of Per­pet­ual Help, the Red Lions roared back with an 87-80 vic­tory over a sur­pris­ingly hard-fight­ing Lyceum yesterday in the NCAA bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment yesterday at The Arena in San Juan.

Not only did they bounce back from their loss to the Al­tas, the Lions also man­aged to tie ri­val Le­tran atop the stand­ings as they im­proved to 11-3.

De­ter­mined to get back to their win­ning ways, the Red Lions came out of the gates fir­ing and even­tu­ally took an 18-point lead, 49-31, at the break be­hind Art dela Cruz and Baser Amer.

But the Pi­rates started to get their act to­gether as Wil­son Baltazar and Joseph Gabayni re­dis­cov­ered their form to make the game a lit­tle more in­ter­est­ing.

Twice the Pi­rates pulled within strik­ing dis­tance, cut­ting the San Beda lead to six, 56-50, near the end of the third and 69-62 early in the fourth.

But Dela Cruz and Radge Tongco had other plans as they com­bined for 17 points in the pay­off pe­riod to hand Lyceum its 12th loss in 15 games.

“It’s nice that you can come from a heart­break­ing loss and see your team per­form at this level,” said San Beda head coach Jamike Jarin.

Dela Cruz had another mon­ster game with 25 points, eight re­bounds and four as­sists while Tongco chipped in 14 points.

Amer also had his best game since re­turn­ing from a shoul­der in­jury, post­ing12 points and five as­sists.

Baltazar had 28 points for the Pi­rates while Gabayni fin­ished with 24 points and 11 boards.

Ear­lier, San Se­bas­tian got a bit of re­demp­tion from last round’s shock de­feat as it ex­acted pay­back against Emilio Aguinaldo Col­lege, 91-77, in a bat­tle of also-ran teams.

The win al­lowed the Stags to ar­rest their three-game los­ing skid and avenge their 77-71 de­feat at the hands of the Gen­er­als in the first round.

Or­tu­oste 24, Pretta 19, Bu­lanadi 17, Guinto 11, Costelo 7, Fabian 6, Bra­gais 3, Cal­isaan 2, Capo­bres 2, Sibal 0, Alvarez 0, San­tos 0.

Mun­sayac 21, Ha­madou 20, On­wu­bere 16, Me­jos 8, Pas­cua 5, Bon­leon 4, Diego 3, Pas­cual 0, Gen­eral 0, Co­rilla 0, Estacio 0.

Quar­ters: 16-17; 51-35; 68-55; 91-77.

Dela Cruz 25, Tongco 14, Amer 12, Adeo­gun 11, Mo­con 5, Sara 5, Sober­ano 4, Tank­oua 4, Koga 2, Ca­banag 2, Reyes 2, Sedillo 1, Bon­subre 0, Pres­bitero 0.

Baltazar 28, Gabayni 24, Alanes 8, Nguid­jol 6, Taladua 4, Bu­lawan 4, Marata 3, La­caste­san­tos 3, Sunga 0, Mal­a­banan 0, Soli­man 0, Mbida 0, Ayaay 0.

Quar­ters: 17-15; 49-31; 67-58; 87-80.

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