San Beda stays unbeaten with OT win, Arellano and EAC rely on balanced efforts to get their wins

EAC Generals 89 – MU Cardinals 85

The EAC Generals relied on some steady shooting from the free throw line to seal the win against the Mapua Cardinals. Five players finished in double figures for the Generals led by Hamadou Laminou with 17 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks. Jess Bautista also had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Jerome Garcia had 14 points and three treys.

The game was tight all the way through as neither team could pull away from the other. The Cardinals tried to pull away in the second period as Noah Lugo and Cedric Pelayo combined for 12 points to give their team a six-point lead. Jan Natividad came alive in the third period for the Generals. He scored 10 of his 12 points in that stretch to pull EAC to within three points setting up the exciting finish to the game.

The Generals were tested from the line in the final minutes of the game. They passed with flying colors as they missed only one freebie in seven tries to ice the game. On the other end, Mapua missed crucial free throws that could have given them the lead in the dying seconds. EAC escapes with their second straight win after a 0-4 start.

AU Chiefs 79 – JRU Heavy Bombers 70

Maui Sera Josef came up big for the Arellano Chiefs to lead them to their third win of the season over the winless JRU Heavy Bombers. Sera Josef had a breakout game with 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Chiefs. He paced four other Chiefs who finished in double figures.

The Heavy Bombers, looking for their first win of the season got out to a fast start. Jed Mendoza and Darius Estrella led their young team to an early lead which they held on to until the early second period. But Sera Josef and Adrian Alban came alive in the second quarter. The two combined for 15 points in the second quarter to keep the Chiefs in the game.

The Chiefs proceeded to control the game in the second half. Sera Josef, Levi Dela Cruz and Kent Segura outscored the Heavy Bombers 15-14 in the third period to give Arellano the lead. Michael Canete erupted for 11 points in the final period to offset the 15 points Mendoza scored for the Heavy Bombers. The Chiefs comfortably rolled to the win.

SBU Red Lions 80 – CSJL Knights 76

The San Beda Red Lions were challenged by the Letran Knights who pushed the game to OT. The Red Lions had enough in the tank to pull out a clutch win in overtime and stay undefeated in the season. Robert Bolick had MVP numbers with 20 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Donald Tankuoa finished with an 11-13 double-double.

The San Beda Red Lions looked like they were in full control of the game heading into the final period. They took a nine-point lead as their outside shooting was clicking. The Knights refused to back down from the defending champions. Bong Quinto, Jeo Ambohot and JP Calvo led a sizzling comeback in the fourth period. Calvo and Ambohot hit crucial three-pointers to tie the count at 67-all with 32 seconds left in the game.

The Knights got the stop on the defensive end and pushed the ball down court. Calvo missed the layup but Jerrick Balanza was there for the put back to give Letran the lead with 3.8 seconds left in regulation. The Red Lions made up for the earlier miss with great execution in those final seconds. They inbounded the ball to Javee Mocon who drove into the paint, sucked up the defense and dished to Tankoua. The big man’s reverse layup fell through sending the game to OT.

The game stayed tight in OT as both teams traded blows to start the extra period. Tankoua powered his way into the paint to give San Beda a two-point lead inside the final minute of the game. Letran’s shooting finally went cold as they couldn’t convert their final attempts. Bolick sealed the win with two clutch free throws.