WITHOUT CJ Perez, San Beda found Lyceum of the Philippines University an easy picking.
The Red Lions stamped their class all over the Pirates, 73-60, to move closer to achieving an NCAA men’s basketball three-peat yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon played their usual game, but it was reserves Clint Doliguez and Jeramer Cabanag who did most of the damage in giving San Beda a 1-0 series lead that was made easier with the suspension of Perez.
“I give credit to my boys because they did a good job today,” said Lions coach Boyet Fernandez.
San Beda shoots for its 11th crown in 13 seasons – and a record 22nd overall— in Game 2 on Monday at the same Pasay venue, with LPU back in full strength with the return of Perez.
“If it’s not broken, why fix it,” said Fernandez when asked about their adjustments for the potential title-clincher.
Mocon posted a 14-point, 10-rebound outing while Bolick had 12 markers and nine assists for the Lions.
Cameroon’s Donald Tankoua was also a force with 10 points and 16 rebounds to help San Beda score a convincing victory.
After trailing by huge leads in the early going, the Pirates were able to close the gap at 60-70 but the Lions simply had the answer to extend their winning run to 13 games dating back late in the first round of the eliminations.
“Kinabahan nga ako kung anong effort ipapakita nila because CJ is not there. They still showed up and played,” said Fernandez.
Cameroon’s Mike Nzeusseu took the scoring mantle for LPU with 16 points to go along with 14 rebounds while twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino chipped in 13 markers apiece.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Prince Eze bested all comers to snare the men’s MVP award.
Eze garnered a total Player All-Around Value (PAV) of 61.89, way ahead of second placer Bong Quinto of Letran to emerge as the second MVP winner from the Las Piñas-based team after Earl Scottie Thompson won it four years ago.
Perez was supposed to be in the Mythical squad but was disqualified because of the suspension slapped on him for failing to inform the league in writing that he has applied in this year’s PBA draft.
SBU (73) – Mocon 14, Bolick 12, Doliguez 11, Tankoua 10, Cabanag 8, Canlas 6, Oftana 4, Presbitero 3, Nelle 3, Cuntapay 2, Soberano 0, Abuda 0, Eugene 0, Tongco 0, Cariño 0.
LPU (60) – Nzeusseu 16, Marcelino JC. 13, Marcelino JV. 13, Ayaay 9, Caduyac 5, Valdez 2, Yong 2, Ibañez 0, Pretta 0, Santos 0, Tansingco 0, Serrano 0, Lumbao 0.
Quarterscores: 19-9, 43-22, 59-39, 73-60