Lions halt Knights, boost bid for No. 1
MANILA, Philippines - Nigerian Ola Adeogun put in a monster double-double game while Art dela Cruz scored on a clutch putback in overtime as San Beda outlasted Letran, 76-72, to regain the solo lead and zero in on the top seeding in the Final Four of the 89th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City last night.
Dela Cruz snared the offensive rebound off a Baser Amer’s flubbed three-pointer and scored on a floater that shattered the 72-all count with 21 seconds left in the extra period.
But Jonathan Belorio, left open at the top of the arc, fired a triple he had hoped would duplicate his earlier trey that helped force the overtime.
He was wrong as the ball missed its mark this time with Amer pulling down the rebound before sealing the victory for the Lions off a foul by Mark Cruz.
It was a big, crucial win for San Beda, which surged ahead at 14-3 while dropping Letran to second on a final 14-4 mark.
The Lions try to formalize their claim on the No. 1 spot against ousted Arellano.
The 6-8 Adeogun, meanwhile, outplayed and overpowered Letran’s 6-7 Raymond Almazan, coming away with a 26-point, 26-rebound and two-block effort as the defending three-time champion Lions took their familiar role as leaders.
“No secret, we just try to play as hard as we can every single time we’re on the court,” said Adeogun, who thanked San Beda benefactor Manny V. Pangilinan, who watched and cheered from the sidelines.