MANILA, Philippines - The NU Bulldogs kept leaving Anthony Semerad open in the second half and it came back to haunt them in a major way.
Semerad had 22 points - 18 coming in the game's final 24 minutes - to go with four rebounds to lead the San Beda Red Lions past the NU Bulldogs, 88-81, and to book a ticket to the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup semis on Wednesday, June 4, at the San Juan Arena,
Baser Amer was the second leading scorer for the winning side, putting up 17 markers whie Oda Adeogun had 12 points and 13 boards.
The Red Lions now turn their attention to the CEU Scorpions, whom they will face on Friday, June 6,
"Well, it's a battle of Mendiola schools," said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez after the contest. He lated added: "Facing CEU, it will be different," before saying that it might be "quite difficult for him to prepare," since he hasn't gotten to face CEU before.
"Hopefully, we can be ready for CEU on Friday."
The Red Lions didn't seem to be ready for NU at the start of today's contest, as the Bulldogs led after the first quarter, 22-19, and after the first half, 39-37.
However, things turned in the third canto, when Semerad started to drain threes from everywhere to put his club on top entering the fourth, 65-59.
Thanks to a 1-2 press on defense, NU managed to stay within striking distance and was down only by seven with a little over four minutes to go. However, another conversion by Semerad increased his team's lead to nine with 3:40 to go.
San Beda seemed in the cusp of winning the contest with 1:26 to go after a jumper by Amer was followed by a traveling violation from Rev Diputado, who finished with only four markers.
However, a few turnovers by the Red Lions and a couple of threes later, NU was back in the ball game. Jeth Rosario, who tallied 11 points, hit another 3-ball later on to make the count 84-81.
Though that was as far as the Bulldogs could go, as the Red Lions managed to put the match out of reach at the free throw line and by shutting down the Bulldogs' offense.
Alfred Aroga led NU with 22 points, but only had three rebounds. His entire squad got outrebounded by the Red Lions, 41-32.
SBC: Semerad A 22, Amer 17, Adeogun 12, Dela Cruz 8, Koga 8, Mocon 6, Pascual 5, Tongco 4, Ludovice 2, Cabanag 2, Mendoza 2, Semerad D 0, Abarcar 0
NU: Aroga 22, Rosario 14, Alolino 11, Celda 8, Neypes 7, Khobuntin 6, Diputado 4, Perez 4, Alejandro 3, Betayene 2, Javelona 0, Salim 0
Quarter Scores: 19-22, 37-39, 65-59, 88-81