Varsity Sports Updates (NCAA Men’s Basketball results)- Game 1 review: Cheers amidst gloom, Letran Knights had the numbers to win it

Nov. 11, 2013


SM Mall of Asia Arena,

Pasay City

4 p.m.

Game 2  of the best of three finals series of the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament will be like Game 1.


(Ola Adeogun in a rebound battle with Raymund Almazan, photo sourced Paul Ryan Tan, AksyonTV website).

It will be held amidst a gloomy atmosphere, which is prevalent in places  outside of the SM Mall of Asia Arena.


( a bruised and battered boy stares at the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda, photo sourced from the Guardian).

Down south in the Visayas, in many places in the Eastern Visayas region, people are trying to recover from the devastation caused by super typhoon Yolanda last Nov. 8, Friday.


(Volunteers carry a dead body off the streets of Tacloban, photo sourced from

Many are dead, many more survived.

A lot of people are missing, and search and rescues operations are under way.

Looting is prevalent in places like Tacloban, but the presence of the police and the military will slow but surely minimize, if not stop such incidents in the coming day.

Relief operations are now going on, with help foreign sources, like the United Nations, and the United States through the US Marines.

For me, I’ve had my first experience in assisting  individuals find missing relative on the online people finder,  which has been put up by concerned people  for such a  task.

My attempts to use  People Finder, which I did beside the individual seeking help,  gave me the shivers.

Out of seven searches, I am only able to find one relative. The status of this remain unknown.

So, to ease the gloom which could engulf the festive feelings of a championship series like a tsunami,  organizers of the NCAA  have done something noble.


(A chopper landing with relief goods, photo sourced from The Guardian).

They are donating P100,000 to the relief efforts of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

The donation will go to the Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Inc. of TV5.


And so, as Game 2 approaches, the Letran Knights will have their chance to bounce back.

Just like last year.

Coach Caloy Garcia believes that the Letran Knights will be able  make a big come back  in  Game 2.


(Coach Caloy Garcia giving instructions to Kevin Racal, photo sourced from Paul Ryan Tan, Aksyon TV website).

Statistically, the Knights have the numbers to force a decisive Game 3 on Saturday, and showed it in Game 2.

“Hopefully, there will be Game 3, and we will win the title,” said Garcia, after the San Beda Red Lions repulsed the Letran Knights, 80-68.

The Knights, according to Garcia managed to stay close until the fourth quarter.


(Mark Cruz, #9, in action, photo sourced from Paul Ryan Tan, Aksyon TV website).

After that, Red Lions pulled away behind the outside shooting of two second stringers, Anthony Semerad and John Ludovice.

Semerad and Ludovice, filling in for foul-troubled Olaide Adeogun, scored two of three triples in the last 2:54, baskets, allowing the Red Lions to gain ground in the final quarter.

Garcia said their second stringers will have to do better this time around.

“I told my second stringers that we can’t rely too much on the first stringers, They have to also follow the game plan.

The Red Lions came up with  a total field goal percentage of  40 percent during the game, with the Knights close behind, at 39.

But they made a big difference with their three-point shooting, connecting eight of 21 attempts, while the Knights hit only out two of eight tries.

Offensively, the Red Lions were able to  outrebounded them, 18 to 8, with Adeogun dominating the boards with 11, and Baser Amer backing him up not only with 11 points, but with 8 boards as well. Arthur de la Cruz was also there with eight points and 11 boards.

Season MVP Raymund Almazan came up with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

To win Game 2, Garcia said:”We just have to be disciplined (in terms of adjustments), especially against Ola. Because has been stealing the whole time., trying to get some fouls.”

Last year, the Mendiola dribblers won the crown after they went the distance with the Knights. They took Game 1, 62-50, before the Knights prevailed in Game 2, 55-64.

The Red Lions later topped Game 3, 67-39.

–         PLAY-BY-PLAY

They Red Lions started pulling away right after Kevin Racal unloaded a trey.

This touched off a deciding 10-2 blast in the last 2:08.

The Knights were in the thick of the fight, 62-60, when the Red Lions charged ahead.

The Mendiola dribblers later took a 75-62 spread with 2:08 remaining.

Baser Amer  had 11 points with Ludovice, who hit the last of his three three-pointers during the run.

Adeogun then drove past  Almazan to cap San Beda’s pivotal run.

From there, San Beda  grabbed a 75-62 lead.

“It’s not over yet. We still have one game. And, we will be ready against Letran,” said Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez.

Adeogun led with 16 points and 11 boards.

He  barely saw action in the second half after he ran into foul trouble in the first half with three.

This  compelled Fernandez to utilize David Semerad on his behalf.

His layup off Amer’s pass in the 5:38 allowed San Beda to overtake the Knights for the eighth and last time.

Mark Cruz showed the way for the Knights with 22 points, while  Racal shot 12 points.

The scores:

San Beda 80 — Adeogun 16, Amer 11, Ludovice 11, A. Semerad 9, Dela Cruz 8, Dela Rosa 8, Abarcar 6, D. Semerad 6, Pascual 5, Sara 0.

Letran 68 — Cruz 22, Almazan 16, Racal 12, Ruaya 4, Tambeling 4, Belorio 4, Gabawan 4, Nambatac 2, Castro 0, Luib 0, Buenaflor 0.

Quarterscores: 12-12, 26-24, 47-53, 80-68.


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