ART dela Cruz registered a triple-double and Ola Adeogun took over in the stretch run as San Beda survived Jose Rizal University, 83-75, in the NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan on Thursday.
The pro-bound Dela Cruz had 26 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists in the win that gave the Red Lions an 11-2 (win-loss) slate for solo top spot.
“Matagal ko nang motivation ‘yun. First game ko pa lang sa NCAA motivation ko na ang PBA,” said the ninth overall pick in the recent Rookie Draft, who registered his first career triple double.
The five-time defending champion interestingly, found themselves trailing, 67-69, at the 7:01 mark of the pivotal fourth as Tey Teodoro unloaded 14 straight points bridging the third and fourth quarters, including three triples.
But Adeogun took charge for the Lions as he accounted for 10 of the team’s 15-2 run to regain the upperhand, 82-71, with 1:57 left en route to the win.
Adeogun finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Pierre Tankoua added 10.
The Lions committed 18 turnovers, which were converted to 19 points by the Heavy Bombers. In contrast, the reigning champions only got nine points out of the 13 turnovers by Jose Rizal.
“We weren’t taking care of the ball especially in the last part of the third quarter,” said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin. “Tapos ‘yung mga turn overs namin back-to-back, then they (JRU) will score, ‘yun ang nakakapanghina.”
Paolo Pontejos had 19 for JRU, while Teodoro added 16 and John Grospe chipped in 10.
The Heavy Bombers dropped to a 6-5 card for a share of fifth spot with Mapua.
San Beda (83) – Dela Cruz 26, Adeogun 23, Tankoua 10, Sara 8, Koga 5, Soberano 4, Tongco 3, Cabanag 2, Mocon 2, Amer 0, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0, Presberito 0, Solera 0, Sedillo 0.
Jose Rizal (75) – Pontejos 19, Teodoro 16, Grospe 10, Lasquety 7, Poutouochi 6, Cruz 4, Abdulwahab 4, Sanchez 3, Dela Virgen 3, Dela Paz 2, Astilla 1, Balagtas 0.
Quarterscores: 21-16; 36-32; 64-61; 83-75.