San Beda escaped late San Sebastian College fightback to notch a 92-81 victory on Thursday, in the NCAA Season 91 Men’s Basketball Division at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan.
This seventh win in eight matches of San Beda gave the Red Lions a share of the top seed alongside Letran Knights, both at 7-1 in the current standings.
Nigerian stalwart Ola Adeogun had 28 points and 14 rebounds, followed by Arth Dela Cruz with 13, and Ryusei Koga added 12 markers for the defending NCAA champions.
The Mendiola-based Red Lions opened the first half with a commanding run to spark a premature two-digit lead over the pesky Stags, yet the tables turned otherwise heading to the second half.
It was then time for San Sebastian to show what the Golden Stags were made of.
San Sebastian stunned the Red Lions as it loaded a 16-0 telling run to be just striking distance away at 82-79 in the final 2:31 on the clock.
The Golden Stags looked to stretch their 3-point advantage en route to the final buzzer, but San Beda simply refused to back out as Dela Cruz and Koga abolished the lead and returned the favor with a 12-2 San Beda rally.
Veteran guard Ryusei Koga had his hands full with the pivotal shots which pushed the Red Lions to their hard-earned victory.
“We went with our system when we got that lead so we can’t afford that”, said Coach Jamike Jarin in referrence to the San Sebastian surprise fightback.
“We can’t afford to let our guards down”, the new San Beda mentor added.
Also, Donald Tankoua added 11 hits for San Beda, and next in line is Dan Sara with 10 points.
Meanwhile, Ryan Costelo led with 18 points, while Michael Calisaan added 17 markers for the San Sebastian Golden Stags, who dropped to their ill-fated seventh loss in nine outings.
San Beda Red Lions (92) — Adeogun 28, Dela Cruz 13, Koga 12, Tankoua 11, Sara 10, Tongco 8, Mocon 6, Cabanag 3, Sorela 1, Soberano 0, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0, Sedillo 0.
San Sebastian Golden Stags (81) — Costelo 18, Calisaan 17, Ortouste 13, Fabian 10, Guinto 9, Bulanadi 5, Santos 3, Sibal 2, David 2, Capobres 2, Oretta 0, Mercado 0.