KAI Oliva proved to be cool and composed for San Beda in the endgame as his layup delivered the thrilling 82-81 victory over Nazareth School of National University Friday in the semifinals of the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup juniors division at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Oliva beat his man to the cup for the go-ahead bucket for the Red Cubs with 0.9 seconds remaining, following up a gutsy block from Josiah Alcantara on Cyril Gonzales on the other end.
Bullpups coach Goldwin Monteverde still had a trick up his sleeve as Kevin Quiambao found Dominic Dayrit on the inbound, but his last-gasp shot just rimmed out, handing the victory to San Beda.
Oliva poured 10 points and six rebounds, showing his poise and leadership for the Red Cubs.
Alcantara also topscored for his side 16 points, two rebounds, and two assists, while Jade Talampas got 11 points and three boards.
“Talagang kailangan namin ng experience before going to the NCAA season. Medyo kino-consider ko na mga bata pa ito. Ang dami kong batang players and we’re tying to get as much games as we can. Kumbaga, to prepare din talaga for the NCAA,” said coach JB Sison.
San Beda now progresses to the championship, where it meets Mapua on Saturday.
It was also an emotionally-charged game for Rhayyan Amsali, who is currently embroiled on a controversy surrounding his transfer from NU to San Beda.
He had eight points and a rebound in his 14 minutes on the floor, but Sison downplayed the duel, saying: “Hindi naman Rhayyan Amsali against NU eh. Hindi naman siya nagpipilit.”
Gonzales led the Bullpups with 18 points and seven rebounds, Dayrit dropped 17 points and seven boards, and Quiambao had 16 and 12.
SAN BEDA 82 — Alcantara 16, Talampas 11, Oliva 10, Amsali 8, Sanchez 8, Ynot 7, Estacio 6, Pelipel 6, Llarena 4, Calencia 4, Calaguin 2.
NAZARETH SCHOOL 81 — Gonzales 18, Dayrit 17, Quiambao 16, Alarcon 7, Felisilda 6, Abiera 5, Torres 5, Vinoya 5, Mailim 2, Buensalida 0, Enriquez 0, Lantaya 0.
Quarters: 25-14, 44-31, 62-59, 82-81.