San Beda holds off late JRU rally to make FilOil final

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--It's La Salle versus San Beda in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup final.

The Red Lions nailed the other berth for Sunday night's championship game after staving off a fourth quarter run from the JRU Heavy Bombers, 81-77, at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Friday night.

San Beda, the reigning NCAA and PCCL champion, appeared to be heading to a blowout against JRU after building a 67-46 advantage early in the fourth quarter. But a 28-8 run saw the lead trimmed by JRU to only one, 75-74.

Arth Dela Cruz and Ryusei Koga converted crucial baskets to protect the lead and stretch it to five 79-74.

Tey Teodoro, however, made three free throws to again cut the gap to two, 79-77, with 52.8 seconds remaining.

Ola Adeogun turned the ball over in the next play, giving the Heavy Bombers a shot at even taking the lead, but Teodoro missed back-to-back three-point attempts in the end.

Dela Cruz finished with 22 points, four rebounds, and eight assists even as Radge Tongco added 13 markers for San Beda, which will have La Salle next in the rematch of last year's FilOil and PCCL championships.

Former Bedan Paolo Pontejos led JRU, which was without Vergel Meneses, with 22 points and three assists.

Box Scores:

San Beda 81-Dela Cruz 22, Tongco 13, Soberano 10, Koga 9, Adeogun 7, Sorela 7, Mendoza 6, Sara 5, Tankoua 2, Reyes 0, Sedillo 0

JRU 77-Pontejos 22, Teodoro 20, Dela Paz 11, Sanchez 10, Abdulwahab 5, Poutouochi 4, Dela Virgen 3, Gorospe 2, Balagtas 0, Aurin 0

Quarterscores: 25-17, 44-33, 62-46, 81-77