Lions show fangs early

JERAMER Cabanag of San Beda University challenges the defense of Prince Eze of University of Perpetual Help System Dalta during their National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 94 men’s basketball match yesterday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Red Lions won, 80-72. ROMAN PROSPERO

San Beda College delivered a scary preview of its Final Four performance when it dominated University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 80-72, in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 94 men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Donald Tankoua and Jeramer Cabanag led the scoring parade for the Red Lions, who shut down their elimination round campaign with 11 straight wins for a commanding 17-1 win-loss card.

Tankoua chalked up 23 points and 10 rebounds while Cabanag had 16 markers and five rebounds for San Beda, which is warming up for the Final Four against the Altas starting Friday.

More than that, the duo joined Robert Bolick in dropping a 9-0 blast that turned a 71-all count into a comfortable 80-71 lead entering the final 1:55 mark of the game.

San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez said his boys were very motivated to display their prowess, knowing that the Altas will also be their Final Four opponent.

“After our game against Lyceum, the boys said it’s now our turn. And they showed it with the way they played in the second round,” said Fernandez, whose lone loss came from the hands of the Pirates in the first round.

“The win is useless if we’ll not make it to the finals and probably defend our crown. Now the pressure is too high for us.”

Prevailing over the Altas in the Final Four seems like a tall order for the Red Lions.

Frankie Lim is calling the shots for Perpetual, an assignment that came at the heels of his very successful stint with San Beda, where he won four titles in his five-year tour of duty.

Lim quickly turned things around for the Altas, prompting them to wrap up their campaign in the double-round eliminations with an 11-7 win-loss card.

The Altas will take the fourth spot while Lyceum and Letran will clash in the other semifinal pairing after emerging second and third places, respectively.

Lim’s impressive performance didn’t go unnoticed.

“I credit them for starting well,” said Fernandez, bracing for a kill-or-be killed battle with the Altas in the Final Four.

“Credits go to coach Frankie and the Altas for coming back from eight points down. They did a very good job.”

Kim Aurin tallied 18 points, five rebounds and five assists while Edgar Charcos added 17 markers, five rebounds and five assists for the Altas, who are tipped to go back to the drawing board and map a surefire way to frustrate the Lions in the semis.

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