Lions overpower Knights, near sweep

San Beda University trampled on archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 75-63, to inch closer to a sweep in Season 95 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

The three-time champions Red Lions unleashed a scorching start then toppled the Knights’ uprising midway the game to seize their 15th straight victory.

San Beda moved to just three wins within sweeping the double-round eliminations that guarantees an outright berth in the finals.

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Letran’s Jerrick Balanza tries to drive past the tight defense of San Beda’s JB Bahio (left) and Clint Doliguez (back) during a Season 95 NCAA seniors basketball game on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City. PHOTO BY ROGER RAÑADA

“It’s the players who worked hard for this. They had an 8-0 run to start the third quarter. We went back to our defensive mentality and had our own 20-0 run,” said San Beda veteran coach Boyet Fernandez, who wants to focus more on securing the top spot than the sweep for now.

“As of now, we’re just thinking of getting one more win out of our three games to be on the No. 1 spot and take on the No. 4 team (in the Final Four),” added Fernandez.

Earlier, Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) stayed in the Final Four race after pulling off a come-from-behind 89-76 victory against University of Perpetual Help System DALTA behind Jethro Mendoza’s career effort.

Graduating guard Mendoza fired 13 of his career-high 22 points in the pivotal fourth quarter to keep the Generals’ semifinal hopes alive with a second consecutive win and third overall against 11 losses.

EAC head coach Oliver Bunyi, though, is just looking for improvements in their remaining games.

“Our only objective for now is to get better every game. We’re not thinking of the chance to get to the Final Four anymore,” said rookie mentor Bunyi, whose squad claw its way back from a 14-point deficit.

* * *

Perasol gets three-game suspension

University of the Philippines head coach Bo Perasol has been handed a three-game suspension by the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

The punishment stems from the actions he displayed during the Fighting Maroons’ game against Ateneo de Manila University last Sunday.

With 6:23 left in the third period of the said game, Perasol entered the playing court before confronting game official Jaime Rivano. He was handed two technical fouls for his unsportsmanlike behavior that led to his disqualification.

An additional two-game suspension was meted on Perasol for committing “continuous flagrant acts of aggression” towards the game official after being restrained repeatedly by the UP Fighting Maroons team members.

Perasol will serve his suspension during UP’s games against Far Eastern University (October 6), University of the East (October 12), and University of Santo Tomas (October 16).

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