Defending champion San Beda College overcame the challenge of Emilio Aguinaldo College to post an 80-65 win and secure its third win Monday in NCAA men’s basketball at the San Juan Arena in San Juan City.
Sophomore Art de la Cruz, Baser Amer and Kyle Pascual worked on a solid game in the fourth quarter to give the Red Lions a 3-1 win-loss card and second place in the standings.
San Beda’s lone setback was at the hands of Lyceum, 66-70, last June 24.
The Generals, who were leading in the first half, 39-34, dropped to 1-3 record with only host St. Benilde as their victim, 73-72, on July 4.
Behind in the third period, the 17-time champion Red Lions, who are aiming for their fourth straight championship, stepped on the gas as Rome de la Rosa, Olaide Adeogun and Amer went on a rampage for 54-48 score early in the third period.
Kyle Pascual, Roldan Sara and Anthony Semirad gave Sn Beda a quick 8-0 run for its first biggest lead in the game, 69-56, some 7 minutes remaining.
“Credit to the boys. They worked solidly in the second half. They have shown the character, which refused to give-up and desire to win,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.
De la Cruz led the Red Lions with 18 points and nine rebounds, Amer had 14, while De la Rosa finished with 8 and Sara and Adeogun, 6 each.
Igee King led the scoring for the Generals with 18 points, John Tayongtong
had 12, Noube Happi added 8 and seven from Jack Arquero.
The reigning Juniors titlist San Beda Red Cubs made it a double celebration for the Mendiola-based squad by crashing Emilio Aguinaldo Brigadiers, 108-59, to remain unbeaten in four games.