San Beda regains winning form behind Nigerian student-player

MANILA, (PNA) — Nigerian student-player Ola Adeogun teamed up with Ryusei Koga to lift the San Beda Lions beat a feisty Mapua, 64-69, on Wednesday to remain on top of the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

The 6-8 Adeogun imposed his might and finished with 19 points by making seven of his 11 shots and all his five free throws while adding 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal to make up for lost time when he was benched in a 64-53 loss to Letran last week for missing practice.

Koga, for his part, came out with his best game of the season thus far and fired 17 points, including 12 in the second half when the Lions broke loose to seal their eighth win against two losses.

”We need Ola’s inside presence, that’s how important he is in our team,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez referring to Adeogun.

“I also have to give credit to Koga, he really played well for us,” he added.

Playing rugged, the Cardinals were in it in the early goings as they muscled their way to an 18-17 lead after the opening quarter with Joseph Eriobu pouring eight of his game-high 22 points in the period.

Then Adeogun started to bully his way through and torched the Cardinals with 11 points in the second quarter when the Lions turned a one-point deficit to a 39-34 advantage at the break.

And then Koga took over from there as San Beda built enough cushion to soften the impact of a late fightback by Mapua.

The Cardinals absorbed eight loss in nine games.