SAN Beda sent Southwestern University crashing back to earth with a 77-49 victory in the semifinals of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League on Tuesday at The San Juan Arena.
The reigning NCAA champions dominated from start to finish as they gave the Cobras, the Southern Islands champions who toppled UAAP titlist La Salle, 68-58, in overtime the day before, a harsh reality check.
“We really wanted to make a statement today,” said Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez, whose team suffered a 56-62 defeat at the hands of Far Eastern University also on Monday at the start of the single-round Final Four. “We want to prove that we’re not done after winning a championship.”
The Lions and Cobras are now tied at 1-1 (win-loss), with both teams needing one more win on Thursday to solidify their chances to qualify to the finals of the tournament that seeks to determine the country’s No. 1 collegiate basketball team.
Ola Adeogun and Kyle Pascual recovered from sub-part efforts as the trusty big men scattered 22 and 14 points, respectively, after combining for just 11 markers against the Tamaraws.
Rome dela Rosa, who had a bum stomach on Monday when he let defensive assignment Mike Tolomia fire 23 points, had a hand in limiting Monbert Arong and Mark Tallo to a combined four points after the backcourt duo tallied 17 and 13, respectively, against the Archers.
The Lions leaned on a scorching start and an even better finish when they unloaded a 28-3 salvo bridging the last two quarters to establish their biggest lead at 71-38 that made the game a foregone conclusion.
“It was a wake-up call yesterday,” Fernandez said. “The difference today was the aggressiveness. We really came out strong.”
SAN BEDA (77) – Adeogun 22, Pascual 14, Dela Cruz 10, Dela Rosa 8, A. Semerad 7, Amer 5, Sara 3, Ludovice 2, Villaruz 2, Mendoza 2, D. Semerad 1, Abatayo 1, Bonsubre 0, Abarcar 0, Koga 0
SWU (49) – Sanjo 13, Siewe 9, Goloran 8, Mohammed 6, Bautista 3, Tallo 2, Ortega 2, Holper 2, Arong 2, Bregondo 2, Pardo 0, Panerio 0
Quarterscores: 23-7, 37-24, 65-38, 77-49