MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) San Beda University continues to blow by the opposition in the NCAA Season 95 tournament, this time barreling past archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 75-63, on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The defending champions uncorked a 20-0 run in the third quarter to break the game open, and weathered the Knights' last-ditch efforts in the final quarter.
It was San Beda's 15th win in a row, and 29th since last season. Letran, meanwhile, dropped to 9-6.
"Well, it's really the players who really worked hard for this," said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez. "Our defense really stepped up after they had the 8-0 run… At least naka-recover kami."
The Red Lions got off to a 17-1 start before the Knights got their groove, and headed into the break down by just 8 points, 42-34. Letran proceeded to score the first eight points of the third quarter, capped by two charities from Jerrick Balanza to knot the count at 42 with 6:21 left.
San Beda responded with a furious 20-point run, sparked by a three-pointer from Clint Doliguez and fueled by the Knights' turnovers. Clint Oftana, the leading MVP candidate at the end of the first round, scored 9 points in the run, including a pair of triples.
"We went back to our defensive mentality, and we made some stops and we had a 20-0 run. So again, it's the effort of the players that should be credited to day because Letran is a very strong team," said Fernandez.
The Knights were able to trim the deficit to 12 points in the fourth period, but San Beda's lead proved too much to overcome.
Oftana finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Doliguez had 13 points. Evan Nelle had 12 points, 7 assists, and 2 rebounds, without committing a single turnover in nearly 35 minutes of playing time.
Letran was led by Larry Muyang's 13 points, while King Caralipio added 13 markers. But they shot just 33.87% from the field, and their backcourt struggled as Balanza, Bonbon Batiller, and Fran Yu combined for just 13 points.
This was the Knights' second loss in a row.
SAN BEDA 75 -- Oftana 16, Doliguez 13, Nelle 12, Canlas 12, Bahio 6, Soberano 6, Tankoua 4, Carino 4, Visser 2, Abuda 0, Noah 0, Cuntapay 0.
LETRAN 63 -- Muyang 13, Caralipio 11, Balanza 11, Ambohot 9, Reyson 5, Ular 4, Mina 3, Balagasay 3, Batiller 2, Pambid 2, Yu 0, Sangalang 0, Javillonar 0.
Quarter scores: 24-16, 42-34, 62-42, 75-63.
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