MANILA, Philippines - Ronnie Magsanoc has no plans of celebrating his first month as San Beda coach. But he sure knows how to make it memorable.
Keeping their cool in a highly-charged duel, the Red Lions overpowered the undermanned but tough Mapua Cardinals, 77-61, to clinch the first seat in the quarterfinals in the Filoil Flying V Pre-Season Hanes Cup at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Jake Pascual posted a double-double job with 15 points and 12 rebounds while Julius Armon tossed in 12 points to help stretch the Lions’ unbeaten run to six in Group A.
"I didn't even know that I've been coaching here for a month now," said Magsanoc, who took over from Frankie Lim exactly a month ago. "I'm just happy that I've already memorized the names of my players compared before when I needed a list."
Earlier, National University dominated Emilio Aguinaldo College with a superb all-around game, coasting to a 93-52 romp to likewise sustain its winning streak in Group B.
With all 13 players fielded in by coach Eric Altamirano scoring, the Bulldogs had a virtual workout against an overmatched EAC side to annex their fourth straight victory.
"It seemed easy for us but it’s really because our bench stepped up their games," said Altamiramo, whose wards moved closer to the quarterfinal phase.
In the third game, Nico Salva and Kiefer Ravena combined for 14 points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter as Ateneo overcame University of the East, 79-73, to clinch its fifth win in six games. The Warriors dropped to 1-3.
Denice Villamor shot 7-of-10 from the field, including two three pointers to lead NU with 16 points, while Cameroonian Emannuel Mbe chipped in 12 markers and pulled down 14 rebounds.
Cedrick Labing-Isa and Mark De Guzman added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Bulldogs, who led by as many as 48 points at 87-39 on Labing-isa’s back-to-back treys – With report from Roland Quilente