San Beda College outclassed Arellano University, 91-81, to force a playoff for the Final Four top seeding in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 men’s basketball tournament on Friday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Jayvee Mocon posted 19 points and 15 rebounds while Davon Potts added 18 and Amiel Soberano had 15 points as the Lions tied the Chiefs at No. 1 on 14-4 win-loss records.
San Beda and Arellano will play again on Tuesday at the same venue for the top seeding.
“We play our hearts out every game. We don’t disrespect the game. We listened to each other. It’s constant communication for us,” said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin.
For San Beda, it was about keeping the tradition after reigning as No. 1 at the end of the elimination in the last 10 years.
“I heard it’s the school tradition,” Jarin added.
Mapua Institute of Technology, meanwhile, came back from 17 points down to beat a Bright Akhuetie-less University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 67-63, and claim the No. 3 seeding with a 12-6 mark.
“It’s good to win a game coming into the semifinals rather than losing on the other end,” said Mapua head coach Atoy Co during the post game news conference.
Reigning Most Valuable Player Allwell Oraeme had a double-double output of 14 points, 24 rebounds and two assists while Joseph Eriobu and Andrew Estrella got 10 points each for the Cardinals.
The Altas fell to 11-7 and No. 4 spot.
Akhuetie was reportedly under disciplinary action.
Prince Eze and Genmar Ilagan led Perpetual Help with a combined 22-point showing.
Earlier, College of St. Benilde posted a 65-61 victory over Lyceum of the Philippines University to finish its campaign with a win.
On the brink of becoming the first team to ever lose all their games in two decades, the Blazers rallied from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to nail their first win after dropping their first 17 games.
“This is an emotional win not just for me but also the players and the team,” said Benilde coach Gabby Velasco.
Senegalese Clement Lentcheu came through when needed; firing 12 of his team-best 18 points in the final period to will his team back.
Somehow, the win was a sendoff for skipper Pons Saavedra, who has completed his eligibility year.
“Its a very special moment for me because I had to come back and leave my sick mom in the US,” said Saavedra, whose mom has brain tumor.
Benilde thus avoided becoming the first team to end up with a winless season since Philippine Christian University lost all its 12 outings in 1996.
The Pirates fell to 6-12.