The new-look San Beda Red Lions hold off Adamson Soaring Falcons, 86-81, Thursday in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup at San Juan.
Last year’s NCAA runner-up San Beda relied on deeper rotation and fresher legs during crunchtime to ably protect the lead until the final horn as the Lions are now roaming around DLSU’s coattails with 5-1 slate.
The Red Lions led by as much as 12, 69-57, heading into the 4th but Adamson inched within 5, 85-80, with under a minute to go but proved to be the Falcons’ last big scare.
“It wasn’t the last 3 minutes but it was the entire quarter,” Jamike Jarin said referring to their huge lead that was chopped down to 5.
“We were being selfish.” he added.
But he was quick to downplay the lapses as this is the main purpose of pre-season tournaments.
“Well, of course you are here to develop your players, it’s an opportunity for them to experience what it is – close games, team, well-coached.”
In which he just did.
Jarin utilized his deep bench and played a whole different set of players even sitting his main man Donald Tankoua, who finished with 21 points, and swingman Davon Potts with 8 points in the 4th quarter.
“You try to develop their character. Ito yung kailangan mo eh. Di mo naman masi-simulate sa practice yan.”, he added.
And if there was one thing his boys proved in this game that made Jarin grin.
“They can compete. They can fight,” he said.
Adamson, on the other hand, was spearheaded by Robbie Manalang’s 19 points and 7 assists.
San Beda automatically qualified for the next round but still has to meet Ateneo for the seeding while the Soaring Falcons (3-3) are now in danger of missing the playoffs as they are now locked-up with the UE Red Warriors (3-3), whom they will face for a playoff spot.
Both games will be on Sunday. – By John Bryan Ulanday