NCAA: RED LIONS SUSTAIN FIERY STREAK, ROUT PCU FIVE
Manila, August 5, 2003 (Star) By Joey Villar - San Beda leaned anew on its vaunted running game as it smashed Philippine Christian University, 94-79, yesterday to extend its amazing run to five and remain on top of the heap at the start of the second round eliminations of the 79th NCAA basketball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Skipper Arjun Cordero again starred for the Red Lions with 19 points but it was San Beda’s support crew that took over in the second half to turn what had appeared to be a close contest into a rout.
With hefty Michael Casino out due to suspension and Jeff Bombeo out of commission due to injury, Cordero single-handedly carried the Red Lions to leads of 21-14 and 49-42 after two quarters.
Then the high-leaping former juniors MVP drew the needed support from the troika of Tim Ong, Marvin Baldivia and Carlo Weber, who came through with big baskets to power the Red Lions to double-digit leads before sealing the team’s sixth win in eight outings to remain at the helm.
"I have to give credit to my second team because they stepped up when needed," said San Beda coach Jonathan Reyes.
Casino served out a one-game suspension for nearly coming into blows with Mapua’s Nat Cruz in their first round meeting while Bombeo injured his left foot late in the first quarter.
The win likewise put San Beda in good stead as it braces for its much-awaited second confrontation with defending champion San Sebastian on Aug. 13.
"This is a very important win for us because we need this momentum against San Sebastian, which we all know is raring to get back at us," said Reyes.
Meanwhile, San Beda’s Ronnie Bughao, Jerome Paterno and Cordero lead the MVP statistical race after the first round.
But it was Bughao, a rookie from Cebu City, who came out impressively with 26.9 Players All-around Value (PAV) points.
Trailing Bughao were Paterno and Cordero with 23.25 and 23.11 points, respectively, while St. Benilde’s Al Magpayo (23.09) and Jose Rizal’s Mark Borboran (22.23) followed in that order.
Rounding up the top 10 were St. Benilde’s Ronald Capati (22.15), PCU’s Ian Vincent Garrido (22.08), JRU’s McDonald Santos (21.24), Perpetual Help’s Marcel Cuenco (20.57) and San Sebastian’s Michael Gonzales (19.71).
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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