SAN Beda gave Jose Rizal University a dose of its own medicine, coasting to a 57-49 victory on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena to set its title-retention bid in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in motion.
In a battle between teams that rely on their defense, it was the Red Lions’ version that proved more effective as it limited the Heavy Bombers to a paltry 32-percent shooting from the field on the way to gaining the early lead in the standings.
The Lions particularly shackled JRU gunners Philip Paniamogan and Jaycee Asuncion, who combined for just 14 points after making just 5 of 24 shots.
“As what I’ve said, the system of this team will always start on defense,” Lions coach Boyet Fernandez said. “My players really focused on this game despite all the distractions considering this was an opening game.”
Heralding his status as the league’s top big man, Ola Adeogun stamped his dominance all-game long, pumping in 20 points, 14 boards, two blocks, two assists, and one steal in 32 minutes of action.
Kyle Pascual chipped in nine points and eight rebounds, while Art dela Cruz and Baser Amer scattered all-around numbers — eight points, seven boards, five steals, and two assists for De la Cruz, and seven assists, six points, five rebounds, and three steals for Amer.
The Lions built an early lead, which slowly ballooned to double digits, reaching its peak at 14, 57-43, after a left-corner triple from Javee Mocon off an Amer feed.
SBC (57) – Adeogun 20, Pascual 9, Dela Cruz 8, Amer 6, A. Semerad 4, Abude 3, Mocon 3, Cabanag 2, Tongco 2, Koga 0, Mendoza 0, D. Semerad 0.
JRU (49) – Paniamogan 12, Lasquety 9, Mabulac 6, AbdulWahab 6, Balagtas 6, Benavides 4, Asuncion 2, Sanchez 2, Teodoro 2, Salaveria 0, Grospe 0, Manuel 0.
Quarterscores: 14-11; 29-21; 46-31; 57-49.