MANILA, Philippines – San Beda leaned on Nigerian center Ola Adeogun as it hammered out a vengeful 78-54 victory over the College of St. Benilde to grab the solo lead in the NCAA Season 90 men's basketball tournament at the Arena in San Juan on Saturday.
Adeogun scored a season high 28 points to go along with 16 rebounds and two blocks, powering the Lions to their 10th win against two losses.
San Beda has now claimed the solo lead in the tournament at 10-2 while relegating Arellano to second place with a 9-2 record.
"Ola is a source of inside strength," said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.
The Lions also went to their league-best defense in getting back at the Blazers, who had stunned the defending champions 83-78 in their first round encounter last July 28.
After allowing St. Benilde to explode for 83 points in their first encounter, San Beda held the Blazers to only 54 points this time while containing Mark Romero to only five points after he had scored 20 in their first face-off.
"We knew that for us to beat them, we need to play defense. Good thing we did that," said Fernandez.
Baser Amer scattered 13 points, including eight in the final period to help hold off the Blazers' late comeback.
Von Adam Abatayo meanwhile made the most of his limited minutes as he nailed all three of his shots from beyond the arc as the Lions torched the Blazers with 10 triples.
St. Benilde fell to a three-way tie for third place along with Perpetual Help and Jose Rizal with identical 7-5 records.
San Beda (78) -- Adeogun 28, Amer 13, Koga 9, Abatayo 9, Dela Cruz 6, Sara 5, Mendoza 4, A. Semerad 2, Mocon 2, D. Semerad 0, Pascual 0.
CSB (54) -- Taha 12, Grey 10, Saavedra 9, Sinco 7, Bartolo 6, Romero 5, Nayve 3, Ongteco 2, Jonson 0, Pajarillaga 0, Altamirano 0.
Quarterscores: 9-16, 26-21, 53-34, 78-54.