FilOil Finals: San Beda Red Lions outshoot Green Archers, 74-57, gain third championship

Earlier today at the FilOil Flying V Centre, the San Beda Red Lions clinched a dominant 74-57 win over the DLSU Green Archers. The win kept San Beda University (SBU) at the top of the table with no losses in 10 games. Meanwhile, DLSU concluded their FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup stint at second place, with seven wins and three losses.

Donald Tankoua was dominant on both ends of the court, recording 17 points and six rebounds. Meanwhile, the season’s Most Valuable Player James Kwekuteye had 15 points and seven rebounds, while Clint Doliguez was the only other SBU player who scored in double figures, finishing with 13 points and six rebounds.

In the losing effort, the Taft-based squad was led by Encho Serrano who tallied 12 points and six rebounds. The Best Defensive Player of the league, Justine Baltazar, also chipped in eight points and nine rebounds.

Behind the scoring tear Serrano showcased in the tournament was his drive to prove his inclusion in the lineup. “Ginagawa ko lang best kona pinapatunayan ko kay coach na worth it yung binibigay nilang chance sa‘kin. Hindi ko pinapabayaan tsaka I’ll always give my best, my 100 percent lagi,” shared the Green Archer.

(I just did my best—I proved to coach that the chance they gave me was worth it. I’m not complacent, and I’ll always give my best, my 100 percent always.)

Leveled first half

The Green Archers were head on in reclaiming the title as Baltazar opened the first period with a layup from an Andrei Caracut assist. On the other end of the court, Doliguez drew first blood for his team off a three-pointer at the 8:44 mark of the first quarter. Afterwards, a scuffle ensued, and the two teams both failed to convert consecutive baskets. With 6:26 left to play in the frame, Joel Cagulangan found Serrano for a layup. Gabe Capacio assisted Brandon Bates in a similar fashion as the latter converted a layup to give La Salle a three-point lead, 6-3. Red Lion Kwekuteye leveled the playing field by scoring through back-to-back layups but Aljun Melecio scored a three-pointer off the bench to cap off the first period with a 12-all tie.

In the hopes of keeping his team afloat in the game, Ralph Penuela opened the second quarter in favor of San Beda as he converted a three-pointer at the 9:44 mark. However, the Green Archers came out of the gate as the more aggressive team as they went on a 10-2 run within the first five minutes of the second quarter. Kurt Lojera ignited the run with a midrange jumper from the elbow, and Jordan Bartlett drained back-to-back three-pointers afterward.  Doliguez paced the Red Lions during the last two minutes of the second frame, scoring off of a jumper and a layup. The Green-and-White focused on keeping the game leveled through the efforts of Melecio, Baltazar, and Capacio. After Melecio found Capacio for a layup at the 1:09 mark of the second quarter, Oftana hit a three-pointer for San Beda. The second quarter ended with DLSU holding on to a one-point lead over SBU, 34-33.

Falling behind the pack

The Red Lions started the third quarter looking like a new team, as they produced quality shots and played harder defense. Tankoua opened up the scoring for his team when he completed a three-point play at the 9:28 mark. SBU continued to push the pace as they went on an 11-2 run from the eighth minute to the third minute. The stellar defense limited the Green Archers to only seven points, courtesy of the combined efforts of Capacio and Baltazar. Although the team from Taft was able to create opportunities to score, they were not able to find the bottom of the net. At the end of the third period, the Mendiola-based team outscored the Green Archers by 17 points, 24-7.

In the fourth quarter, DLSU was able to clean things up. Serrano kicked things off by making back-to-back layups, followed by Lojera who recorded another two points to his name. Just as the Green Archers were about to complete a comeback with unlikely heroes, Doliguez knocked down a three-pointer for the Red Lions at the 5:52 mark. This was followed by a three-point play by Tankoua off a behind-the-back assist from Evan Nelle. From there, momentum once again shifted to San Beda—this time for good.

DLSU head coach Gian Nazario shared his thoughts on the match, “Just like what I said during the huddle at the start of the game, we’re happy that we’re here considering that we’re just a new group. At the same time, everything right now is just learning for us and this is a tough pill to swallow.”

The scores:

DLSU 57- Serrano 12, Baltazar 8, Bartlett 7, Capcio 7, Lojera 6, Melecio 5, Cagulangan 5, Bates 4, Caracut 2, Lim 1

SBU 74 – Tankoua 17, Kwekuteye 15, Doliguez 13, Oftana 9, Penuela 7, Bahio 5, Nelle 4, Carino 2, Etrata 2

Quarter scores: 12-12, 34-33, 41-57, 57-74

Andrea Punzalan

By Andrea Punzalan

Alfonso Reyes

By Alfonso Reyes

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