Tuesday, 1 October 2013 4 Comments
by MIA DOMINGO
Just like what happened to their juniors team, it was also a close call for the San Beda Red Lions in their date with San Sebastian in the nightcap.
Four-peat seeking San Beda had to go through the eye of a needle just to get past the Stags, 72-68 in their second round meeting in the 89th NCAA at the Arena in San Juan.
In a game controlled by the Stags from the get-go, the Red Lions patiently worked their way back into the game even after trailing by as many as 15 at the start of the payoff period.
It was again team captain Rome Dela Rosa who sparked San Beda’s return as the graduating forward converted Art Dela Cruz’s feed with 56 ticks left.
“During halftime, coach just told us to make one stop at a time, be patient and relax. I’mjust glad we got this win. It was a tough game because San Sebastian really prepared well,” said the son of former pro Romy Dela Rosa.
San Sebastian had a comfortable 63-50 cushion going into the last seven minutes of the game before going scoreless in the next three minutes that spelled doom for the Recto squad.
Led by Ola Adeogun, the Red Lions slowly climbed back into the game, making it just a two point game with 4 minutes remaining off a basket from Dela Rosa.
Aquino, a rookie from San Sebastian who hails from San Diego, California stopped the bleeding for the Stags as he put up a basket that extended San Sebastian’s lead back up to four, 65-61.
A quick answer from Adeogun brought their deficit down to two but Perez was quick to answer. Adeogun scored another basket that made just a one possession game with two minutes left.
“I want to give credit to Rome, Ola, Baser, Koga. We made stops in the fourth where we brought the lead down to just six. The leadership of Rome is there. I credit Ola for keeping his cool even if he was hacked all the time. This is an important game for us. Even if we’re in the top four, we want to secure one of the twice-to-beat advantage. I thank the Lord for this,” said Fernandez.
In their previous game, it was always Dela Rosa who would feed the ball to Dela Cruz. This time, it was the other way around. From beyond the arc, Dela Cruz saw the open Dela Rosa underneath. He issued a pass that Dela Rosa converted for the go-ahead basket of San Beda with less than a minute left.
San Sebastian, who scored their last field goal from CJ Perez at the 2:29 mark went scoreless from the field until the final buzzer. They only managed to score one point off a split from Bradwyn Guinto after Perez’s basket.
Despite the loss, the Stags are still at the fourth spot with an 8-6 mark. San Beda improved their record to 13-2.
“My players did not want to lose this game. They wanted a double double like the Red Cubs. I salute my players because kahit anong motivation ang gawin namin, if they don’t believe in themselves, it won’t go like this. Hopefully, we can bring this [winning attitude] to the end,” added Fernandez.
San Sebastian had most of their rookies coming off sick bay. Only Ortuoste finished in double figures with 15.
San Beda (72) — Adeogun 26, Dela Rosa 18, Amer 12, Dela Cruz 6, Koga 5, Abarcar 2, Pascual 2, Sara 1, A. Semerad 0, Mendoza 0, D. Semerad 0, Ludovice 0
San Sebastian (68) — Ortuoste 15, Dela Cruz 9, De Vera 8, Perez 7, Gusi 6, Trinidad 6, Guinto 5, Aquino 4, Tano 4, Rebollos 3, Balucanag 1
(San Beda – San Sebastian)
13-23, 29-37, 46-61, 72-68