Staglets, Red Cubs, Letran Squires triumph
Carlo Obenza scored big in the fourth period, hitting 11 of 12 points to propel the San Beda Red Cubs to an 87-81 triumph over the defending champion Malayan High School of Science Red Robins on Friday night at the Arena in San Juan.
The win allowed the Red Cubs to climb to a share of second position with La Salle Greenhills in the 93rd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball tournament.
Both the Red Cubs and LSGH now have a 5-2 slate behind the Malayan High School of Science Red Robins (6-1).
It was also the Red Cubs’ first win over the Red Robins since their historic finals encounter last season.
The 19-year old Cebuano came into the picture right after the Red Robins threatened, 62-66, off a charity from Clint Escamis.
His two triples and three-point play with 3:21 left help give the Red Cubs a comfortable 13-point cushion, 79-66.
“He is still adjusting to our defensive schemes. Kaya labas pasok siya sa game,” said Red Cubs coach JB Sison.
This is the Red Cubs’ first triumph following a 70-77 upset to the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers last week.
Even Nelle led with 27 points, and he combined with for nine points with Josh Tagala in the first period
The two towed the Red Cubs to a 10-2 run, and the Mendiola dribblers went on to lead 17-11 at the end of the quarter.
“I stayed focused. Kahit hindi ako masyadong maka-shoot, nag focus ako sa defense,” said Obenza.
Peter Alfaro drilled in 15 points, with his triple in the last 3:24, coming on top of a 16-0 blast that allowed San Beda to overcome a 38-39 deficit.
Clint Escamis and Will Gozum made a gamehigh 19 points for the Red Robins.
SSC Staglets 73, LSGH
Eighteen-year-old Rommel Calahat made 12 points, and shot the two winning charities for the San Sebastian Staglets as they claimed the day’s biggest upset over the La Salle Greenhills Greenies, 73-71.
Calahat, a prized find from Cagayan de Oro, got fouled by Joshua Marcos with 26.6 seconds, and his baskets handed the Staglets their second triumph in six matches.
The Greenies, with Inand Fornillos making 13 points, took charge, in the remaining 37.3 seconds off Fornillos’ drive.
They blew their chance to force an overtime when Joshua David mishandled the pass from Joel Cagulangan as time winded down.
“Sinabi ko sa kanila na kahit kulang kami sa puntos, kahit sino, puede maglaro at ipanalo ito. Basta huwag lang mag-give up,” said Staglets coach Melo Banua.
Letran 78, Perpetual Help 68
The Letran Squires held their ground in the fourth period, and smothered the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas, 78-68.
Russelle Aniban, Kurt Reyson and Neil Tolentino made 12 points each to carry the Squires to their third triumph in seven matches.
The win, according to coach Raymund Valenzona, is a morale-booster for the team.
“Magandang panalo ito. Paangat na kami standings,” said Valenzona.