|Robert Bolick had an awful trip from the field but San Beda held their nerve on defense to pip Perpetual Help. Franchesca Nicole Collantes/Dugout Philippines|
PASAY -- San Beda hold their nerve in the final seconds to survive Perpetual Help's resistance in 67-65 squeaker to start a new season of the NCAA today at the MOA Arena.
The defending champions had their fright of their lives, as the Red Lions even needed a late steal by Robert Bolick to get their seventh consecutive opening-day win in front of the 19,204-strong crowd.
Bolick had a bad shooting trip, only hitting 21% of his shots, but made it up with a perfect clip from the line en route to lead all scorers with 15 points.
Jayvee Mocon and Donald Tankoua each had a double-double to backstop the graduating guard as they combine for 26 points and 22 rebounds.
Edgar Charcos almost had a winning return after serving residency, pouring in 14 points on 42% shooting in a valiant effort for the Altas.
Reigning defensive player of the year Prince Eze and AJ Coronel backed up the transferee guard with 13 points each for the season hosts.
After a sluggish first half that ended tied, San Beda nearly pulled away in the third, leading by as much as six in one stretch.
But Perpetual went right back at it in the final period, thanks to the former UE gunner who fired for eight points as the lead changed hands for a total of thirteen times, before Tankoua scored on a pair of free throws to give San Beda a 67-63 lead with 54.8 ticks left.
Eze gave the Altas hope when he sank a pair to halve the deficit with 14 seconds remaining, and had their final chance when Jomari Persbitero missed a pair nine seconds later.
But it was the choking defence that preserved the win for the Red Lions, when Bolick intercepted Charcos' intended pass to Eze in the final three seconds of the game.
SAN BEDA 67 – Bolick 15, Mocon 14, Tankoua 12, Eugene 8, Soberano 6, Abuda 3, Kwekuteye 3, Presbitero 2, Doliguez 2, Cabanag 2, Oftana 0, Tongco 0, Nelle 0, Carino 0, Cuntapay 0
PERPETUAL 65 – Charcos 14, Eze 13, Coronel 13, Razon 10, Aurin 8, Peralta 7, Mangalino 0, Cuevas 0, Tamayo 0, Pasia 0
QUARTER SCORES: 13-10, 23-23, 44-40, 67-65
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