SAN Sebastian pounced on a depleted but valiant Emilio Aguinaldo College side with a 107-73 pummeling on Monday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Playing a five-man Generals squad decimated by suspensions, the Golden Stags zoomed to an early lead and never showed signs of any let up to register their second straight win and just fifth overall in 16 games.
The Generals, whose players were punished for their roles in the melee that marred their match against Mapua last week, finished the season with a 14th loss in 18 games.
“I was a bit cautious about this game because we were put in a sensitive scenario,” Stags coach Topex Robinson said. “But we just had to play our basketball.”
Stags skipper Jovit dela Cruz led four teammates in double figures, while all but one player registered in the scoring column for the Recto-based dribblers, who established a 17-point first quarter lead, which ballooned to 44, 92-48 after a Spencer Pretta triple late in the third quarter.
Despite the margin, the Generals, composed of Jerald Serrano, Al-Rashid Indin, Fernan Mejos, Jozhua General, and Fau Pascual, showed determination and refused to go down without a fight, outscoring their Stags, 25-15, in the fourth quarter.
Serrano, the only rotation player among the five players, tallied 20 points and nine boards, while the rest, who have been riding the bench all-season long, took advantage of the extended playing time.
Indin tallied a double-double of 17 points, 12 boards, four assists, and two blocks. Mejos added 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists. General chipped in 11 points and nine caroms, while Pascual came up with 11 points and two assists.
“We have so much respect for them,” Robinson said of the Generals. “They just didn’t give up.”
SSC 107 – Dela Cruz 16, Camasura 13, Perez 11, Pretta 11, Costelo 9, Balucanag 8, Fabian 8, Santos 7, Calisaan 6, Mercado 6, Guinto 5, Yong 4, Ortuoste 3, Alvarez 0
EAC 73 – Serrano 20, Indin 17, Mejos 14, General 11, Pascual 11
Quarterscores: 35-18, 69-39, 92-48, 107-73