DEFENDING champion San Beda whipped up a third-quarter storm as it overpowered Emilio Aguinaldo, 81-69, yesterday to boost its stock in the 93rd NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City.
Jomari Presbitero came through with a career-high 16 points and conspired with Clint Doliguez and Fil-Am Davon Potts in the third canto when the Lions dominated the Generals to turn a single-digit lead at the break to a 19-point advantage at the end of third period.
“I didn’t realize I had a career high because I was just playing my game and following our game plan,” said Presbitero, who spiked his effort with three assists and two steals.
Cameroonian Donald Tankoua came off the bench to scatter 12 points, his best effort of the season back from a torn MCL (medial collateral ligament) he sustained late in the second round of elimination a season ago.
EAC was into it in the first half and closely stuck with San Beda like a leech and trailed, 32-38, at halftime.
But Presbitero, Doliguez and Potts presided over a series of furious runs in the third quarter where the Lions outscored the Generals, 24-11, to seize a commanding 62-43 upperhand at the end of the third canto.
It was garbage time from there as EAC could only come as close as 10 points.
The Generals, who were led by Francis Munsayac’s 21 points, fell to 1-3.
In the second game, Jose Rizal University drew strength from Jed Mendoza as it turned back Letran, 65-62, to improve to 2-2.
Mendoza, a proud 21-year-old son of Bataan, dropped a career-best 17 points and had a crucial steal in the dying seconds to preserve the win.
The Knights slid to 1-2.
In juniors’ action earlier, San Beda waylaid EAC, 105-69, to improve to 3-1 while Letran dumped Jose Rizal, 92-79, to hike its slate to 2-1.
Games Tuesday (July 25)
8 a.m.- Mapua vs EAC (jrs)
10 a.m.- AU vs LPU (jrs)
12 noon- Mapua vs EAC (srs)
2 p.m.- AU vs LPU (srs)
4 p.m.- San Beda vs Letran (srs)
6 p.m- San Beda vs Letran (jrs)