TWO of the top foreign standouts in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament are set to go under the microscope when San Beda and Arellano collide in the Finals of Season 90.
Ola Adeogun of Nigeria and American Dioncee Holts anchor the campaigns of the Red Lions and the Chiefs, respectively, in the best of three-series series that tips off on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Adeogun, the third-year center, has been dominant as usual, compiling averages of 16.2 points (fifth in the league) on 61-percent shooting, 11.7 rebounds, (second), 1.8 blocks (first), and 1.2 assists in just 24.4 minutes in the elimination round.
Holts has also been a force to reckon with in his rookie year, leading his emergent team in scoring with 13.4 points, making 58 percent of his two-point shots, on top of 9.7 boards (seventh in league), 1.1 assists, and .8 blocks in 25.8 minutes.
Both big men are expected to engage each other in a bruising battle that will prove to be crucial to their team’s success.
“It’s going to be an exciting (matchup),” Adeogun told Spin.ph on Friday.
“It should be a side event,” Holts said. “So just sit back and enjoy the show.”
Based on their individual head-to-head matchup, it appears Adeogun has the edge.
In their first-round encounter, Holts had nine points, 15 rebounds, two assists, and one block in 39 minutes, while Adeogun tallied 13 points, three boards, two assists, and one block, but he did it in just in 17 minutes and the Lions came out victorious.
Holts registered a double-double of 19 points and 12 boards, along with four assists, two steals, and one block in 39 minutes in the Chiefs’ win in their second meeting, but Adeogun had a more monstrous output of 23 points, 22 rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal in 37 minutes.
In their playoff for the no. 1 seed, Adeogun once again proved more efficient than Holts, putting up 15 points, 12 caroms, and one block in only 21 minutes, compared to his counterpart’s eight points, seven boards, and one block in 27 minutes.
But Holts has one glaring advantage over Adeogun: his outside shooting.
While both big men have proven effective down low, the 6-foot-7 Holts, who played small forward in the US, has also been a long-range threat, making 17 of his 38 three-point attempts or a remarkable 45 percent from beyond the arc.
“He is a good player both inside and outside,” the 6-foot-8 Adeogun said of the Rookie of the Year candidate.