SAN Beda flashed its old, dominant form to dismantle Mapua, 89-55, on Friday at The Arena in San Juan to gain the share of the lead in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
After banking solely on their defense to limit Jose Rizal University to below 50 points last time, the Red Lions’ offense clicked this time as they were on the driver’s seat all the way to cruise to their second straight victory.
Baser Amer stood at the forefront of the attack, scoring all his 21 points from three-point territory for the defending champions, who joined San Sebastian on top of the 10-team standings.
“We just played our way of playing basketball,” Lions coach Boyet Fernandez said. “It all starts on our defense.”
The Cardinals never really figured out the Lions’ defense as they suffered a second successive—and one-sided—setback.
The Lions’ stingy defense was in its full effect in the third quarter, where San Beda limited Mapua to just 10 points, while scoring 21 of their own, on the way to building a lead that grew to as many as 37 points.
So dominant were the Lions that star Ola Adeogun hardly needed heavy playing time, seeing action for just 16 minutes, but still good enough for the Nigerian slotman to have another solid outing with 10 points, eight boards, two blocks, and one steal.
It was Amer, a playmaking wizard from Davao, who did most of the work as he showed more aggressiveness this time and waxed hot from long distance. The fourth-year point guard nevertheless didn’t forget to involve his teammates as he dished out five assists in his 25 minutes on the court.
SBC 89 – Amer 21, A. Semerad 15, Adeogun 10, Dela Cruz 10, Sara 6, Pascual 6, Mocon 4, D. Semerad 4, Tongco 4, Abatayo 3, Mendoza 2, Abude 2, Sorela 2, Koga 0, Cabanag 0
MIT 55 – Saitanan 15, Eriobu 13, Estrella 9, Gabo 4, Biteng 3, Isit 3, Tubiano 3, Cantos 3, Canaynay 2, Layug 0, Galoso 0, Serrano 0, Magsigay 0, Villasenor 0, Medina 0
Quarterscores: 25-18, 50-32, 71-42, 89-55