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San Beda opens title defense with rout of host Mapua

Ola Adeogun shares a word of encouragement to Allwell Oraeme.
Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—San Beda began its NCAA six-peat quest with a 102-89 rout of host Mapua in the inaugural game of the league's 91st season at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

The defending champions Red Lions broke away in the final moments of the third quarter to withstand the return of Josan Nimes and the surge of rookie center Allwell Oraeme.

The Cardinals, led by Oraeme, crawled back from a 38-49 halftime deficit to tie the game, 62-all, with 2:17 left in the third period.

But San Beda closed the third on a 11-3 run to take a 73-65 lead which the team extended to as much as 15 points late in the fourth.

Arth Dela Cruz exploded for 27 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, and a steal, while Radge Tongco and Pierre Tankoua added 18 markers each for the Red Lions.

Nimes tallied 23 points in his NCAA comeback but after a 13-point first quarter was limited to only ten the rest of the way.

Oraeme added 13 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks but got fouled out with six minutes left in the game, sensing doom for Mapua.

Box Scores:

San Beda 102-Dela Cruz 27, Tankoua 18, Tongco 18, Koga 16, Sorela 11, Sara 6, Mocon 2, Presbitero 2, Sedillo 2, Cabanag 0, Soberano 0, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0

Mapua 89-Nimes 23, Stevens 13, Oraeme 13, Menina 12, Serrano 10, Villaseñor 8, Que 3, Raflores 3, Braña 2, Dela Rosa 2, Biteng 0, Aguirre 0, Layug 0

Quarterscores: 23-20, 49-38, 73-65, 102-89