CHALLENGED by its coach after two lackluster performances, San Beda finally responded with a 67-54 victory over Arellano in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan Thursday night.
Ola Adeogun made up for his woeful showings in the past, while Baser Amer sustained his fine playmaking as the two stars bannered a Red Lions side that rediscovered the killer’s instinct missing in its last two games.
“Hopefully this win will really awaken us as we believe in ourselves that if we just play the way we want to play, we are a better team,” Lions coach Boyet Fernandez said.
The victory atoned for the Lions’ stunning loss to Lyceum last week as the four-time defending champions improved to a 2-1 win-loss slate.
The Chiefs, drawing a sub-par effort from star guard Nard Pinto, fell to 1-2 overall.
Adeogun, who averaged just 3.5 rebounds in the last two games, grabbed 16 boards this time to go along with 18 points and five blocks.
“Ola knows his game was off, but I appreciate what he’s been doing lately. He always comes out to practice early to work on his game and it showed today,” Fernandez said.
“I’m just happy the team played the way it used to play. We were very energetic and we were playing good defense,” said Adeogun, who had plenty of help from Amer and the Lions’ role players.
Amer, who contributed 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists, lauded the individual defensive efforts of guards Van Abatayo and Francis Abarcar on Pinto, whom they held to just four points on 2-of-11 shooting.
The Chiefs, behind Filipino-Canadian swingman James Forrester, kept the game close until the third quarter, before Amer, the Davaoeño playmaker, took over with eight markers in the payoff period when the Lions maintained a double-digit lead.
San Beda (67) – Adeogun 18, Amer 12, Koga 8, Abatayo 8, Pascual 8, Dela Cruz 5, Dela Rosa 4, Abarcar 2, Ludovice 2, Mendoza 0, A. Semerad 0, D. Semerad 0.
Arellano (54) – Forrester 15, Caperal 8, Agovida 8, Bangga 6, Pinto 4, Cadavis 4, Gumaru 3, Salcedo 2, Jalalon 2, Margallo 2, Nicholls 0, Enriquez 0.
Quarterscores: 8-11; 30-29; 49-45; 67-54