Coaches will always say that it takes a collective effort to win games. San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez will attest to that, as the Red Lions escaped arch-rivals Colegio de Letran de San Juan Knights, 73-68, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
San Beda have yet to lose since July 14, 2017, and enter their final assignment on Thursday, October 19 against the Lyceum Pirates riding a 15-game winning streak. Letran, on the other hand, fell to 8-9 — tied with the Arellano Chiefs and the San Sebastian Golden Stags.
“I will not take this game away from Letran. They really need to win this game to make it to the Final Four. But it’s a rivalry e,” shared Fernandez. “We have to win this game to prepare for us against Lyceum on Thursday.”
Donald Tankoua and Calvin Oftana provided the spark for San Beda, with the former finishing with 15 points and eight rebounds, while latter added 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go along with five rebounds.
“I commend Calvin for giving us a good start even if Letran keeps coming back,” said Fernandez.
“Robert [Bolick] did a good job in the end. We all know that he is our point guard,” the decorated mentor furthered.
Bolick finished with 13 points and six dimes. But it was San Beda’s energy guys Franz Abuda and Clint Doliguez that helped the Red Lions stave off the Knights.
“Our glue guys really played good defense. They have the same size with Quinto. Javee was not in this game today that’s why I gave them a shot. Clint and Franz made me look good today,” beamed Fernandez.
With San Beda down 61-63 with 4:56 left, Bolick drove recklessly through the lane for an acrobatic layup to knot things up. The hussle of Abuda and Doliguez, both scoring on putbacks off their own misses, extended the Red Lions lead to five with 2:24 left.
Bong Quinto was able to momentarily stop the bleeding, but another lay-up by Bolick and free throws by Arnaud Noah with 25.8 ticks left bucked the Knights. Moreover, Nambatac and Quinto were visibly tired during that stretch as Bolick, Doliguez, and Abuda constantly hounded them.
“We will not win this game because of our defense,” Fernandez said.
Bong Quinto paced Letran with 18 points to go along with 17 rebounds, while Jerrick Balanza complemented him with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting. However, skipper Rey Nambatac struggled in the game, finishing with just eight points on a horrid 3-for-13 shooting clip.
Letran take on the CSB Blazers in their final assignment of the season on Tuesday, October 17.
SBC 73 – Tankoua 15, Bolick 13, Oftana 13, Mocon 8, Soberano 6, Abuda 6, Doliguez 5, Potts 3, Noah 2, Bahio 2, Adamos 0, Cabanag 0
CSJL 68 – Quinto 18, Balanza 16, Calvo 12, Nambatac 8, Ambohot 7, Taladua 4, Vacaro 3, Balagasay 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0
Quarterscores: 21-14, 33-31, 52-53, 73-68