Nov. 14, 2013
SM Mall of Asia Arena,
How Nigerian big man Olaide Adeogun will perform will be among the factors which will decide the fate of the San Beda Red Lions in Game 3.
This is how Letran Knight coach Caloy Garcia sees it after they frustrated the defending champion San Beda Red Lions, 79-74, in Game 2 last Thursday, Nov. 14, in the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“Ang laking factor ni Ola talaga. He is the key. So, if he plays well, mahihirapan talaga kami,” said Garcia.
(Ola Adeogun, left, tries to block Mark Cruz’s shot). Photo from Jan Dizon, NCAA.org.ph
Adeogun was limited to just 10 points when the Knights equalized their best-of-three title series at 1-all.
He only made four points in the fourth quarter when the Knights drew strength from three unlikely in their bid to keep the Red Lions at bay.
Bench players Jamil Gabawan, McJour Luib and Ford Ruaya scored timely baskets during that period.
They came into the picture in the last five minutes.
Their baskets allowed the Knights to gain a solid foothold of the lead.
It started with Gabawan’s two charities in the last 5:05.
(Letran’s Rey Nambatac struggle for the loose ball with Jaypee Mendoza of San Beda). photo from Jan Dizon, NCAA.org.ph
The freebies shattered a 64-all deadlock, allowing the Intramuros dribblers to grab the upperhand with a decisive 8-0 spurt.
Luib’s offensive played followed before Kevin Racal, and then Ruaya scored, and this handed the Knights a 72-64 lead in the ensuing play.
Their big moves found their mark while big man and season MVP Raymund Almazan began faltering from cramps.
On the other hand, Mark Cruz, took charge with 16 points.
(Mark Cruz (left) of Letran tries to get past Roldan Sara). photo from Jan Dizon, NCAA.org.ph
JohnTambeling’s triple in the last 5:24 of the third period allowed the Knights to finally taste the lead, 44-39.
Ruaya shot 12 points, while Racal had 12, and Almazan struck with 12 for the Knights, while Arthur de la Cruz showed the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Red Lions.
Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez said that, now that the Knights have forced Game 3, the boys will now allow them to take the championship.
“They still have to beat us. But, my boys will not allow that,” said Fernandez.
The Red Lions were able to threaten, 71-74, off Francis Abarcar, but Cruz’s charities kept them the Knights out of reach, 76-71.
The Knights were outrebounded, 33-50, by the Red Lions.
But the Red Lions had more turnovers than the Knights, 21-14.
– THE SCORES:
Letran 79 – Cruz 16, Ruaya 12, Racal 12, Almazan 12, Tambeling 8, Luib 6, Nambatac 6, Gabawan 5, Belorio 2, Buenaflor 0.
San Beda 74- Dela Cruz 23, Adeogun 10, Dela Rosa 10, Amer 8, D. Semerad 8, A. Semerad 6, Abarcar 4, Sara 3, Ludovice 2, Mendoza 0, Pascual 0.
Quarterscores: 12-17, 32-37, 54-51, 79-74.