SAN Beda made sure there would be no more upsets this time as it cruised past Lyceum, 81-63, on Saturday to jumpstart its second-round campaign in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on a bright note at The Arena in San Juan.
A far cry from a sluggish side that surrendered a stunning 66-70 decision to the Pirates in the first round, the defending champion Red Lions banked on a great start and kept their foot on the gas all the way to the lopsided win.
“We really had to start strong,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez, whose team is coming off a 67-74 loss to archrival Letran in a game that saw the Lions fell to as many as an 18-point hole following a flat start.
Ola Adeogun and Baser Amer once again formed a lethal inside-out combination to lead the Lions, who notched their eighth victory in 10 games to grab solo second place ahead of idle University of Perpetual Help.
Adeogun, the Nigerian slotman, registered a solid outing of 19 points and 10 boards that went with two blocks, while Amer, the playmaking pride of Davao, churned in 17 points, three steals, two assists, and two rebounds.
“I was just trying to do the little things,” Adeogun said. “I was trying to help the team on defense and the scoring just came.”
“But we still have a long way to go before the Finals,” the Nigerian big man added, underscoring the long-term mentality he and the rest of the perennial title contenders already have.
Five players scored at least eight points for the Lions, who never looked back after racing to a 19-6 lead in the first quarter.
The Pirates failed to ride the momentum of a 60-55 victory over San Sebastian last Monday as they fell to ninth place with a 3-7 win-loss card.
As a consolation, Dexter Zamora made a solid return from a three-game suspension as the cat-quick guard spearheaded the Pirates with 20 points in just 19 minutes.
SBC (81) -- Adeogun , Amer , Koga , Dela Cruz , Dela Rosa , Pascual , A. Semerad , Mendoza , Abarcar 1, Sara 1, D. Semerad 1, Abatayo 0, Ludovice 0
LPU (63) -- Zamora 20, Mbomiko 14, Ko 13, Mendoza 6, Azores 3, Lacastesantos 3, Baltazar 2, Ambohot 2, Evangelista 0, Taladua 0, Alanes 0, Lesmoras 0
Quarterscores: 19-6; 45-29; 62-51; 81-63.