The San Beda Red Lions remain as formidable as ever.
The reigning NCAA champions completed a sweep of the 2019 FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup, winning the title over the De La Salle Green Archers, 74-57, Sunday in San Juan.
San Beda won its first FilOil title since 2017 and third overall.
Donald Tankoua collected 17 points, six rebounds, and two blocks, on his way to being named tournament MVP.
The veteran Tankoua may have taken home the hardware but they day also belonged to San Beda's promising young stars in James Canlas and Evan Nelle. The two sophomores showed incredible poise and leadership well beyond their ears. Canlas finished with 15 points and seven rebounds while Nelle added four points and 10 assists.
"I told them when we started practicing [last] January 8, we don't have Robert (Mocon) and Javee (Mocon)," said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez. "People have been expecting us that this team will not win a championship. But seven months later, we won one."
It was in the third quarter where the Red Lions dominated, turning a one-point deficit into a 13-point advantage as they opened the period on a back-breaking 16-2 run. A layup by Canlas made it 49-36 in favor of San Beda with the Green Archers struggling to put the ball through the hoop. The Red Lions never looked back after their 24-7 third quarter spree.
"Well, at halftime we talked about our heart in the ballgame," said Fernandez. "I just told them to contain our emotions. We still have 20 minutes to play, we just have to make stops and try to execute."
Encho Serrano had 12 points and six rebounds to lead La Salle while Justine Baltazar chipped in with eight points and nine points as he struggled against the San Beda frontcourt.
The Red Lions now look ahead for NCAA Season 95 where they try to go for a fourth straight title.
"Hopefully we can bring this championship effort to the NCAA because that's the most important thing for us, taking that championship," said Fernandez. "I hope that this will be a positive outlook for us especially after the filoil preseason. We're happy for this. Hopefully we can defend our crown in the NCAA."
Meanwhile, the Adamson Falcons claimed third place with a dominant 96-63 win over the undermanned LPU Pirates.
Jerrick Ahanmisi torched the Pirates with 31 points, anchored by eight triples, to go along with three rebounds, and two steals. Jerom Lastimosa had 15 points and six assists while Simon Camacho added 14 points. With several Pirates nursing injuries, Rhanzelle Yong provided 20 points in the loss.
In the Juniors Division, the NU Bullpups won the title over the San Beda Red Cubs, 76-69. Tournament MVP Kevin Quiambao steered the way with 15 points and 15 rebounds. The Bullpups were undefeated in seven games.