MANILA, Philippines – The San Beda Red Lions remained undefeated in the 2019 FilOil Preseason Cup after clamping down on their NCAA rival San Sebastian Stags, 71-59, on Monday, June 10.
James Canlas put the finishing touches on the Red Lions' sixth straight win with 19 points in just 20 minutes on 4-of-7 shooting from distance.
Evan Nelle came close to a double-double with 8 markers and a game-high 10 assists, while Clint Doliguez fired off 16 points on a 4-of-6 clip from downtown in the win.
Despite being down 19 in the first half, streaky scorer RK Ilagan willed the Stags back into the game midway through the 4th with a personal 8-0 run.
Off two free throws and back-to-back contested triples, Ilagan got San Sebastian within a whisker, 54-55, with 6:22 left in regulation.
However, that was the nearest the Stags could get as San Beda launched a massive 16-3 run to effectively ice the game with over a minute to spare.
Canlas and Doliguez combined for 3 long bombs in the last 3 minutes to complete their late push and seal the deal.
"I really commend my starters who stepped up their game," said multi-titled head coach Boyet Fernandez.
"We started strong, but you know, San Sebastian is a very strong team even without [Allyn] Bulanadi. They nearly came back just down one in the 4th quarter, but again, I commend my players who really played in the 4th quarter. We stepped up our defense and we won this game."
Aljohn Capobres led San Sebastian with 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Ilagan added 12 markers, albeit on a cold 2-of-12 clip from deep. JM Calma and Arjan dela Cruz chipped in 10 points apiece as the Stags fell to 4-2 for the season.
Prior to that game, the Letran Knights easily ran over the bottom-dwelling Saint Benilde Blazers, 74-62, to finish with a 5-2 record in Group B.
As team stars Jerrick Balanza and Larry Muyang sat out, Ato Ular stepped up in their place with a team-high double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds with no turnovers.
From a 16-point hole late in the 2nd quarter, Saint Benilde inched back within 9 at the half, 32-41, courtesy of back-to-back three-pointers by Unique Naboa for the 9-2 run.
But the Blazers did not have enough firepower down the stretch as Letran simply kept their distance with timely buckets, leading to the double-digit win.
The high-flying Justin Gutang paced Saint Benilde with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Incoming rookie Ladis Lepalam chipped in 8 markers and 8 boards as the Blazers bowed out with a 1-6 slate.
In the other games of the day, the UST Growling Tigers mauled the Mapua Cardinals, 91-67, while the Lyceum Pirates survived the NU Bulldogs, 71-68.
Skilled big man Rhenz Abando powered UST to just their second win in 6 games with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists, while team bruiser Soulemane Chabi Yo churned out an 18-marker, 10-board double-double.
Meanwhile, JC Marcelino and Ralph Tansingco led Lyceum with 11 points apiece as the Pirates sailed to a 6-1 card in Group B.
Finally, the nine-man CEU Scorpions made quick work of the Arellano Chiefs in the curtain-raiser with a 75-57 blowout victory to finish with a 3-4 slate.
Rich Guinitaran led the way with 19 points on 3-of-6 shooting from deep while Dave Bernabe added a 10-marker, 10-board double-double. – Rappler.com