No.1 Beda battles Benilde today

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San Beda’s Gio Lasquety drives on Jomari Presibitero of Jose Rizal University during an NCAA men’s basketball game at the San Juan Arena. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

San Beda’s Gio Lasquety drives on Jomari Presibitero of Jose Rizal University during an NCAA men’s basketball game at the San Juan Arena. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

San Beda College shoots to stay on top while College of Saint Benilde guns for its first victory as the two collide today at the start of the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

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The Lions missed sweeping the first round of elimination after absorbing a heartbreaking 73-79 defeat to the Jose Rizal Bombers a week ago but remained at No. 1 with an 8-1 (win-loss) slate.

The Blazers, in contrast, lost all their first round games to finish dead last but will have a chance to make amends when they play San Beda in their 12-noon showdown.

San Beda will come in as a heavy favorite after it demolished St. Benilde, 90-63; in their first meeting but coach Jamike Jarin was quick to caution his boys not to underestimate anyone.

“I keep reminding the players that teams will be tougher in the second round and we can’t afford to underestimate anyone,” said Jarin.

University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and Arellano University, meanwhile, try to stay closer to San Beda as the two take on Emilio Aguinaldo College at 4 p.m. and San Sebastian College at 2 p.m.

The Altas and the Chiefs finished tied for second with 7-2 cards and they would keep their posts if they could hurdle the Generals (3-6) and the Stags (1-8).

Perpetual Help has played above low expectations by winding up at joint second in the first round despite coming into the tournament minus ex-league Most Valuable Player Earl Scottie Thompson and former coach Aric del Rosario.

The Altas have been doing it thanks to their stingy, no holds-barred defense as they held down their opponents by an average of 62.7 points a game, which was a league-high.

“Defense will be a meal ticket to the Final Four,” said Perpetual Help coach Jimwell Gican in Filipino.

Arellano, Beda keep hold of lead in NCAA juniors basketball

Arellano University and San Beda College pulled off contrasting victories on Monday to keep their hold of the lead at the start of the second round of the NCAA Season 92 juniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Relying on a big fourth quarter breakaway, the Braves turned back the Emilio Aguinaldo Brigadiers, 90-64, while the Cubs simply overpowered the San Sebastian Staglets, 111-55, to nail their ninth win against a loss.

Up by just four points, 55-51, at the end of the third quarter, Guillmer dela Torre exploded for 11 of his 19 points while Lars Sunga sizzled with eight of his 17 in the same period to help clinch it for Arellano.

For Arellano coach Tylon Darjuan, defense sealed the deal.

“We made the necessary defensive adjustments in the fourth quarter, that was the key,” said Darjuan.

In contrast, the Cubs blew the game out of reach as early as the opening quarter when they led the Staglets, 32-7, and never really looked back from there.

Luke Sese unloaded a team-high 19 points while Evan Nelle, Sam Abu Hijle and Joshua Tagala added 15, 14 and 11, respectively.

The Brigadiers absorbed their 10th straight defeat while the Staglets fell to their ninth loss against a win.

In the first game, Mapua Institute of Technology survived an upset-conscious Jose Rizal University, 81-79, to keep its No. 3 spot with an 8-2 mark.

The Light Bombers skidded to 2-8.

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