In my NCAA preview, I said that the biggest difference between a championship -- a fifth straight one for San Beda -- or not is STOPPING OLA ADEOGUN. That has never been easy. But in a year where San Beda is beatable, teams will have to be highly creative in stopping the Red Lions.
Here is what Mapua tried to do when Ola got the ball in the post.
1 = Baser Amer
2 = Ryusei Koga
3 = Anthony Semerad
4 = Art dela Cruz
5 = Ola Adeogun
Amer (watched by Andrew Estrella) throws the ball into the post where Adeogun is guarded by Jesse Saitanan. As soon as Ola receives the ball, the person guarding Art dela Cruz runs down the baseline from the blind side hoping to swipe the ball. To obscure his vision, Estrella attempts to double but not too much as to leave Amer open. Ola wasn't able to whip it to Anthony Semerad, Ryusei Koga, or dela Cruz. But he did find Amer who had some daylight to shoot.
The result? Six-for-six on three-point shooting in the first half alone. Anthony Semerad was two-for two while Dan Sara was one-for-one. That outside shooting killed Mapua.
When San Beda tried to attack inside, the results weren't pretty. Amer got blocked twice by Estrella. Kyle Pascual missed a short stab, Ola missed a few shots inside including two putbacks. Mapua was prepared for the inside game but was slow to rotate. Well, it will hurt when the Red Lion shooters are finding the range.
What was also glaring for Mapua was the lack of any inside operators. Saitanan, he with the good medium range shot, hit some 18-footers to draw out Ola. The problem was, none of the other Cardinals were going inside for the offensive rebound. If you are unlucky from the outside then you have no inside game you do not stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning the game.
San Beda hit 14-27 triples while Mapua had only connected on 1-8. The Red Lions, now 2-0, won 89-55, dropping Mapua into a 0-2 hole and the second straight game where they got bushwhacked by over 30 points.