• Red Lions go for the kill today

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    Jiovanni Jalalon of Arellano U scores against Robert Bolick of San Beda College during an NCAA men’s basketball semifinals game at the San Juan Arena. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

    Jiovanni Jalalon of Arellano U scores against Robert Bolick of San Beda College during an NCAA men’s basketball semifinals game at the San Juan Arena. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

    San Beda College goes for the crown when it battles Arellano University in Game 2 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

    The game is set at 3:45 p.m. with the Red Lions holding a 1-0 edge in the best-of-three championship series.

    San Beda posted a thrilling 88-85 win in Game 1 behind the efforts of Robert Bolick, Dan Sara and Benedict Adamos.

    Bolick sizzled with 24 points including six in the fourth quarter.

    “If we could play as hard, if not more, we’ll have a chance,” said the 20-year-old De La Salle University transferee.

    Sara, the team skipper, also played a critical role as he flirted with a triple-double performance before settling for six points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists while the 6’6 Adamos, a transferee from Bicol, had 16 points, seven boards and a block.

    “If Game One is hard, expect Game Two to be hardest because we know Arellano will adjust,” said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin, who was rookie college coach when his Lions fell to the Letran Knights in last year’s finals.

    After drawing flak for his Game One collapse, Jio Jalalon seeks nothing less than redemption.

    “I’m thinking more of what I will try to do in Game Two that look at what happened in Game One because I just want to help my team stay alive,” said Jalalon, who has never tasted a finals victory in two appearances.

    For Arellano mentor Jerry Codiñera, the key is playing like a team.

    “We relied more on individual plays in Game One, we need to stick together and play as a team in Game Two for us to have a chance,” he said.

    San Beda guns for its ninth title in the last 11 seasons and a league-best 20th overall.

    In the juniors division, the Mapua Red Robins will also shoot for the crown against the defending champions San Beda Red Cubs in Game 2 of their own best-of-three title series.

    Mapua, aiming to end its 16-year title drought, took a 1-0 advantage against San Beda, winning the series opener on Thursday via an 83-64 decision.

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