SAN SEBASTIAN displayed the form that installed itself as one of the pre-season favorites with an 82-51 dismantling of Jose Rizal University in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre yesterday.
RK Ilagan sizzled with 25 points on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc as the Stags opened their redemption season on a smashing note against the hapless Heavy Bombers.
With all the hype surrounding the team prior to the tournament, San Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya was satisfied that his troops responded to their first challenge.
“The boys showed good game, especially on defense,” said Macaraya.
Allyn Bulanadi, still recovering from shoulder injury he sustained in the PBA D-League, was not fielded in until late in the lopsided match to get his feet wet and scored seven points.
In two games that went down the wire earlier, Edgar Charcos took over in the payoff period as University of Perpetual Help System Dalta edged Mapua, 80-78, while College of Saint Benilde squandered a 17-point lead but held on for a 69-66 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College.
Charcos outscored the entire Cardinals squad, 11-9, in the final 6:25 as the Altas emerged triumpant in the first game of the post-Prince Eze era.
“It was a show of character para sa team ko. I believe Mapua is stronger than our team. It’s guts,” said coach Frankie Lim after Perpetual Help rallied from an eight-point hole at the break.
Tonton Peralta took the scoring mantle for the Altas with 20 points, Charcos eventually finished with 16 points to go with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Jielo Razon added 10 markers.
Transferee Ben Adamos, filling the huge void left by last season’s MVP Eze, pulled down team-highs of 10 rebounds and two blocks.
“Well, Prince is giving us 20-20 per game. Sabi ko nga, para makuha yung 20-20 na nawala sa amin, we need team effort. Kailangan lahat, may ambag. Hindi ka puwedeng pumasok na walang ambag,” said Lim.
TY Tang finally chalked up his official season-opening victory for the Blazers after the youthful third-year coach previously won his two opening games due to technicality.
Two years ago, Tang lost his coaching debut against Perpetual Help but it was overturned due to a wrong uniform infraction by the Las Piñas-based squad while St. Benilde got its first win off the court as San Sebastian’s victory was nullified after RK Ilagan was found playing in “ligang labas”.
“We played well in the first half. Again, It’s all about consistency and sustainability. I felt towards the second half, we kinda rattled out and probably our egos came in. Instead of playing as a team, our individual talent tried to overcome our game. Hopefully we learn from it and we get better by the day,” said Tang.
The Blazers were leading 65-48 when the Generals made a stirring fightback that fell short after JP Maguliano missed a potential game-tying triple at the buzzer.
“They (EAC) held us down with their zone defense. We just couldn’t execute and get the basket,” said Tang.
CSB (69) - Pasturan 19, Gutang 17, Naboa 7, Lepalam 7, Carlos 5, Dixon 4, Nayve 3, Flores 3, Belgica 2, Sangco 2, Young 0.
EAC (66) - Maguliano 18, Mendoza 16, Luciano 8, Taywan 6, Tampoc 6, Gonzales 4, Gurtiza 4, Estacio 4, Martin 0, Carlos 0, Corilla 0, Cadua 0, Dayrit 0, De Guzman 0.
Quarterscores: 17-12, 37-23, 57-44, 69-66
Perpetual (80) - Peralta 20, Charcos 16, Razon 10, Egan 9, Aurin 9, Adamos 8, Giussani 2, Lanoy 2, Cuevas 2, Barasi 2, Lucero 0, Martel 0.
Mapua (78) - Bonifacio 15, Gonzales 14, Garcia 9, Nieles 8, Victoria 6, Salenga 6, Serrano 5, Hernandez 4, Lugo 4, Buñag 3, Aguirre 2, Jabel 2, Gamboa 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 21-22, 39-45, 64-63, 80-78
SSC-R (82) - Ilagan 25, Capobres 16, Bulanadi 7, Villapando 6, Desoyo 6, Altamirano 6, Calma 5, Calahat 4, Tero 3, Are 2, Loristo 2, Sumoda 0, Dela Cruz 0.
JRU (51) - Dionisio 8, Steinl 8, Jungco 7, Dela Virgen 6, Aguilar 4, Delos Santos 4, Dela Rosa 3, Bordon 3, Miranda 2, Amores 2, Vasquez 2, Abaoag 2, Arenal 0, Dulalia 0.
Quarterscores: 14-8, 35-22, 61-40, 82-51