SAN Beda delivered when it mattered to hack out an 82-75 victory over University of Perpetual Help on Saturday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Guards Francis Abarcar and Baser Amer conspired in the endgame as the Red Lions overhauled a third-quarter deficit and endured anxious moments in the fourth quarter to eventually secure the close win over their NCAA Season 88 Final Four rivals.
The Lions, who bounced back from a stunning loss to Arellano last Wednesday, won for the fourth time in six games in Group A and dealt the Altas their fifth loss in six games.
Abarcar fired 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the sophomore put up the best game of his young career since he became known as a part of the Lions’ so-called “Super Six,” who stepped up in the absence of their suspended teammates in the opening win last NCAA season against Arellano.
“Sobrang saya ko ngayon kasi first time nangyari sa akin,” said Abarcar, a former NCAA Juniors Finals MVP. “Gusto ko lang talaga tumulong sa team.”
For his part, Amer, the third-year playmaker from Davao, registered an all-around game of 15 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, while Nigerian center Ola Adeogun had a double-double as well, tallying 13 points and 11 rebounds.
“Because we are the defending NCAA champions, all the other teams want to prove that they can beat us. What I do is try to be more aggressive because they’re playing as if they have nothing to lose. That’s what happened in the stretch,” Adeogun said.
In their second game since returning from Impact basketball training in Los Angeles, California, where they worked on individual skills, the Lions actually built an early cushion but saw their lead disappear in the third quarter when the Altas mounted a comeback behind Juneric Baloria.
“We’re just trying to regroup right now in terms of team offense and defense,” Lions coach Boyet Fernandez said. “Hopefully in the long run, ma-develop namin.”
SBC 82 – Abarcar 22, Amer 15, Adeogun 13, Dela Rosa 12, A. Semerad 7, Koga 6, Dela Cruz 4, D. Semerad 2, Pascual 1, Sara 0.
UPHSD 75 – Baloria 22, Omorogbe 17, Alano 10, Arboleda 9, Ylagan 5, Elopre 4, Jolangcob 3, Dizon 3, Lucente 2, Thompson 0, Bantayan 0.
Quarterscores: 19-12; 39-36; 53-59; 82-75.