San Beda turned back St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, 85-82, on Friday to clinch the No. 1 spot and the top seeding in the 92nd NCAA juniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Evan Nelle poured in 11 of his game-high 27 points to power the Cubs to their 16th victory against a loss and the twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four.
“Our next goal now is the finals but we have to prepare first in the Final Four for us to achieve it,” said San Beda coach JB Sison.
Prince Etrata, Ry dela Rosa and Carlo Obenza provided the sweet-shooting Nelle the support by chipping in 13, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Junior Blazers fell to a share of third with the Arellano U Braves on 13-4 slates after the latter fell to the Mapua Red Robins, 71-84.
Mapua, which was led by Michael Enriquez’s 28-point performance including a 10-point splurge in the fourth quarter, jumped from No. 4 to No. 2 with a 13-3 mark.
The last twice-to-beat edge will be contested by Mapua, Arellano and St. Benilde.
Interestingly, San Beda and Arellano U collide and Mapua and CSB-LSGH face off in a pair of crucial tiffs Monday that will determine the Final Four landscape.