7 July 2019
By Maxine Louise Lagman
MANILA, Philippines – Eyes on the prize.
San Beda Red Lions were off to a great start in their bid for a four-peat after defeating host Arellano Chiefs, 59-46, in the opening of the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, July 7.
The Red Lions had a slow pacing in the first half, only managing to keep themselves afloat on a one-point lead, 24-23. Arellano mostly relied on veteran Kent Salado who fired up 13 of those points.
Coming back from the halftime break, the three-time champs got hold of their senses and strengthened their defenses against the Chiefs.
San Beda banked on veterans Donald Tankoua and James Canlas for a 19-12 run for a 43-35 advantage. They continued the streak until the fourth quarter, all the while limiting Salado to only five points and the rest of the Chiefs to 11 points.
A bucket by Kenmark Carino eventually sealed the deal for the Red Lions, leaving the hapless Arellano behind.
“It’s really tough to play in the opening day. But we’re happy that we got this one. We’re worried about the situation with the opening ceremonies and playing Arellano, but the players really stepped up,” said coach Boyet Fernandez during the post-game interview.
Tankoua led San Beda with a double-double 13 points, and 12 rebounds, along with three assists, and two steals. Canlas added 10 points and seven boards, while Evan Nelle made a noteworthy performance with nine markers, five rebounds, five asissts, and two steals for the win.
On the other hand, Salado was the lone double-digit scorer for Arellano with a double-double 18 points and 11 rebounds. However, he is also responsible for five of Arellano’s 24 recorded turnovers.
SAN BEDA 59 — Tankoua 13, Canlas 10, Nelle 9, Bahio 6, Doliguez 6, Oftana 6, Carino 3, Abuda 2, Alfaro 2, Soberano 2, Etrata 0, Noah 0, Cuntapay 0, Obenza 0, Visser 0.
ARELLANO 46 — Salado 18, Sablan 7, Arana 4, Bayla 4, Espiritu 4, Talampas 4, Gayosa 3, Sunga 2, Alcoriza 0, Concepcion 0, Oliva 0, Santos 0, Segura 0, Sacramento 0.
Quarter scores: 15-7, 24-23, 43-35, 59-46.
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