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Red Lions clobber Grey-less Blazers, wrests 9th victory

LETRAN’S Mcjour Luib loses the ball in an awkward manner against the tight defense of Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Francis Munsayac. KEVIN DE LA CRUZ

SAN BEDA went to its shock troopers to rout a Jonathan Grey-less College of Saint Benilde, 89-63, on Friday to seize the solo lead in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Pro-bound Arthur de la Cruz almost completed a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Nigerian Ola Adeogun was back from a one-game suspension and added 12 points. Ryusei Koga contributed 11 markers.

But it was the troika of Amiel Soberano, Ranbill Tongco and Cameroonian Donald Tankoua who  came off the bench and sparked a breakaway in the third quarter that sent the Red Lions to a league-best 9-2 (win-loss) record.

“The key was our big run in the third quarter and we got a big lift from the bench from there,” San Beda Coach Jamike Jarin said.

College of Saint Benilde Coach Gabby Velasco benched Jonathan Grey—who averaged 17.89 points, 5.22 rebounds, 3.33 assists and 2.11 steals entering the game—for disciplinary reasons.

Grey’s absence took its toll on the Blazers and fell to their eighth defeat against two wins.

Lyceum drew strength from Victor Nguidjol’s monster game to turn back San Sebastian, 71-67, for the Pirates’ first streak of the season.

Cameroonian Victor Nguidjol bulldozed his way to 15 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks, and Mer Ayaay fired 16 as the Pirates booked their second straight win and third overall against seven losses to stay in the Final Four hunt.

“He made a lot of mistakes before, that made him a better player today,” Lyceum Coach Topex Robinson said of the 6-foot-7 Nguidjol.

The Stags fell to 3-8.

In juniors’ action, San Beda overpowered La Salle-Greenhills, 82-70, to remain unscathed in 11 games, and Lyceum dominated San Sebastian, 78-49, to improve to 78-49.

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