Ateneo, Letran open AsiaBasket campaign with contrasting wins

Kurt Reyson's late heroics steered Letran past San Beda. AsiaBasket
By Dugout Philippines

LAS PINAS—The 2023 Bola.TV AsiaBasket Las Piñas Championship began on Friday at the Villar Coliseum here with some players making early statements.

For one, Justine Sanchez showed the College of St. Benilde what they should expect from him once he joins them next year by steering Corsa Tires to an 89-78 win in the tournament opener.

Sanchez, who is currently redshirting for CSB after transferring from San Beda, led the way for Corsa with a solid all-around game of 21 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Furthermore, Corsa ramped up its defense on CSB after holding them to a combined 30 points in the second and third quarters after conceding 27 in the first. Corsa pulled away from CSB in the second after dropping 30 points for a 56-44 halftime lead.

Ahron Estacio added 17 points, three rebounds, six assists, three steals, and one block, while Gerald Anderson contributed 13 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Corsa.

Will Gozum announced his return to CSB by leading the team with 18 points, seven rebounds, and one steal.

Adeshokan Odou also announced his presence at AsiaBasket with a stellar performance of his own, but he couldn’t lift Sanzar Pharmaceuticals past Far Eastern University (FEU) as the collegiate squad prevailed, 81-75.

Xyrus Torres and Cholo Anonuevo led the Tamaraws’ final charge within the last 4:55 of the game even as Royce Alforque and Patrick Sleat made some contributions in keeping the Fire Tigers at bay in the end.

Torres finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one steal, Alforque added 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and one steal, Sleat had 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and one steal, and Anonuevo chipped in 11 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, and one steal for FEU.

Odou finished with 28 points, 24 rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal, while fellow world import Salomon Kone added 16 points, 20 rebounds, two assists, and one block for Sanzar.

Roger Ondoa led the locals with 10 points, 12 rebounds, one steal, and one block.

In the third game, Ateneo dominated Uratex, 96-63. Ateneo took over in the last three periods to pull away for good after Uratex kept in step with them in the opening quarter.

Kai Ballungay led Ateneo with 15 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block, while Mason Amos added 12 points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Jason Credo and Joseph Obasa each tallied 11 markers with Obasa also grabbing 11 boards for his own double-double.

Mike Harry Nzeusseu put up 23 points, seven rebounds, and two assists, while Bam-Bam Gamalinda chipped in 16 points and five rebounds for Uratex.

The nightcap saw Letran and San Beda showing the crowd here why they are fierce rivals in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The game went down the wire especially when the Knights came alive in the fourth quarter.

With his team down 10 with 4:48 remaining, Kurt Reyson buried back-to-back triples that sparked their comeback against the Red Lions.

He eventually made two pressure-packed free throws with 44.3 seconds left to give Letran an 85-84 lead over San Beda.

The Red Lions still had a chance to win, but RC Calimag’s first layup attempt was blocked by Pao Javillonar.

Calimag still got the ball while falling down and found Ronrei Tolentino open, but Tolentino blew his own layup as time ran out, letting the Knights escape with the scoreline mentioned above.

Reyson led Letran with 19 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and one steal, while Javillonar added 14 points, eight rebounds, one block, and two steals.

Bryan Sajonia led San Beda with 25 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two blocks, while Tolentino added 17 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and three steals.

Box Scores:

First Game

Corsa 89 – Sanchez 21, Estacio 17, Anderson 13, Ynot 10, Cunanan 8, Ndong 6, Pagulayan 6, Acosta 6, Lepalam 2, Ortega 0

CSB 78 – Gozum 18, Corteza 16, Carlos 13, Sangco 7, Mara 6, Jarque 4, Oczon 4, Jalalon 3, Flores 3, Davis 2, Cajucom 2, Marasigan 0, Marcos 0, Nayve 0, Morales 0

Quarterscores: 26-27, 56-44, 70-57, 89-78

Second Game

FEU 81 – Torres 24, Alforque 13, Sleat 12, Anonuevo 11, Fatty 9, Tempra 6, Ona 4, Competente 2, Montemayor 0, Bagunu 0, Felipe 0, Devares 0

Sanzar 75 – Odou 28, Kone 16, Ondoa 10, Torres 8, Kawamura 7, Mailim 4, Abaoag 2, Calapine 0, Lanzar 0, Famaranco 0, Obuyes 0

Quarterscores: 18-19, 43-37, 59-53, 81-75

Third Game

Ateneo 96 – Ballungay 15, Amos 12, Credo 11, Obasa 11, Gomez 10, Koon 8, Garcia 8, Brown 6, Lazaro 6, Quitevis 5, Chiu 4, Bongo 0, Espinosa 0

Uratex 63 – Nzeusseu 23, Gamalinda 16, Bragais 10, Adeogun 9, Pasco 2, Pardo 2, Salamat 1, Rosagas 0, Gil 0, Buyco 0, Gotladera 0

Quarterscores: 17-17, 45-28, 70-46, 96-63

Fourth Game

Letran 85 – Reyson 19, Javillonar 14, Ariar 13, Galvez 8, Fajardo 6, Monje 6, Nunag 6, Tolentino 4, Santos 4, Jumao-As 4, Guarino 1, Go 0

San Beda 84 – Sajonia 25, Tolentino 17, RC Calimag 14, Alloso 11, Ri. Calimag 7, Lina 4, Lopez 3, Songcuya 2, Lecciones 1, Etulle 0, Dimaculangan 0, Peregrina 0

Quarterscores: 26-29, 48-58, 65-74, 85-84

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