By John Eric Mendoza
San Beda University had a bad game, but still found a way to cream Jose Rizal University, 74-52, to grab an early lead in Season 95 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
James Kwekuteye and Calvin Oftana carried the fight for the Red Lions, who had some scary moments before cruising to their second straight win in the country’s oldest collegiate league.
San Beda’s solo lead, however, may not last long as its bitter nemesis in Lyceum of the Philippines University is still clashing with Emilio Aguinaldo College at press time.
Kwekuteye and Oftana had 17 markers apiece on top of a combined 18 rebounds while Evan Nelle made a stellar job in the playmaking department with 14 assists, 11 of which coming from that torrid first half rally.
“We’re glad that we pulled off this one despite having so many mistakes in execution. We missed so many shots and our defense was messed up,” said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez, whose wards unleashed a 21-10 bomb early in the game.
“We did a good job in the first quarter, but during the second and third quarter, we lost it. We need to emphasize on our execution in practices.”
Even Nelle admitted that he failed to live up to expectations.
“It was a bad game for me. I struggled with my shots,” he said. “So I made a lot of passes to James and Calvin to let them do the job. After all, my job is to pass.”
Marq Dioniso had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists while Ry Dela Rosa had 11 markers for JRU, which was obviously groping for form under the new system of former La Salle coach Louie Gonzales.
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