The San Beda Red Lions continued their rampant run in the 13th Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, barging into the semis after dispatching the FEU Tamaraws, 60-52, on Monday as the summer tournament's quarterfinals went underway.
Sophomore studs Evan Nelle and James Canlas steered San Beda to its eighth straight win, setting up a bout against the Adamson Falcons in the next round. Nelle put up 16 points, including three 3-pointers while Canlas tallied 13 points and seven rebounds.
"I really commend my starters for really stepping up their game. we started really hot," said San Beda mentor Boyet Fernandez as his team raced to a 15-2 start.
The Red Lions cooled off in the next two quarters but were able to rely on their defense in the endgame. They flashed their experience and poise, limiting the Tamaraws to just ten points in the fourth period. A basket by Canlas gave San Beda a daunting 10-point lead, 56-46, with 1:45 remaining.
"I'm happy about their development," mentioned Fernandez as he also credited his young team's experience in the PBA D-League and training abroad for their growth.
Kevin Eboña mustered eight points and eight boards in a losing effort for FEU. Unfortunately, no Tamaraw was able to reach double-figures as they lacked the firepower to keep up with the Red Lions
The Adamson Falcons were the first to book a ticket to the semifinals with an 81-61 decision over the San Sebastian Stags.
Lenda Douanga towered over the competition with 17 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocks while Simon Camacho came out with an 11-point, 10-rebound, and 7-assist performance.
The Falcons took full advantage of the undermanned Stags as RK Ilagan went down with a knee injury in the first half.
"Today, we just had to take care of business. We know very well Baste is shorthanded," Adamson coach Franz Pumaren said. "So far, this is the highest what Adamson has achieved in Filoil."
"We achieved something new for Adamson. At least this is a testament to our program that we are in the right direction."
Jessie Sumoda and Alex Desoyo had 12 points apiece for San Sebastian, who were also without star Allyn Bulanadi.
In the other semifinals bracket, the De La Salle Green Archers will go up against the Lyceum Pirates.
Despite scorer Jaycee Marcelino going down with an apparent nose injury, the Pirates were able to topple the CEU Scorpions, 76-69.
Alvin Baetiong led the way for the Pirates with 13 points, including a clutch floater in the last 26 seconds to help his team pull away. Reymar Caduyac added 10 points and Jayvee Marcelino chipped in with six points and two steals. Jayvee also sealed the win with a layup with 19 seconds remaining. He stepped up big time for his brother Jaycee who only logged in 14 minutes and scored nine points before getting injured.
"It's really about how to help each other out. It was never an excuse for us that we don't have our top players. It's always about inspiring others," said coach Topex Robinson. "Through adversity, we always have to find a way, not just to win, but to compete and give ourselves a chance. We're just happy we got the win because of plain grit."
Meanwhile, Encho Serrano proved clutch as the Green Archers carved out an 80-69 win over the Letran Knights. The sophomore guard scored 18 points, including eight straight in a one minute span that helped his team create separation in the fourth quarter. His scoring explosion gave the Green Archers a 76-60 advantage with 2:28 to play, essentially closing the door on the Knights.
Andrei Caracut was right behind Serrano with 15 points, including three triples. Justine Baltazar was also critical with his output of 11 points, nine boards, six assists, and four blocks.
"First, it's our defense," coach Gian Nazario said about the win. "At first, we were playing too relaxed so we told them we need to make stops and we will be able to run. So we were able to convert down the stretch."
Allen Mina top-scored for Letran with 19 points and Jeo Ambohot had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The semifinals will take place this Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.