San Beda College (SBC) outlasted rival Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL), 73-68, to ex-tend its winning run in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
The Red Lions unleashed a late run en route to their 15th consecutive win, solidifying their grip of No. 2 with a 16-1 win-loss record.
San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez was elated to see his players besting their archrivals, a prelude to their tough battle against leading Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) next week.
“It’s a rivalry. Even though we don’t need this game, we have to win this in order to prepare ourselves mentally and psychologically against LPU,” said Fernandez.
Donald Tankoua paced the defending champion with 15 points and eight rebounds but it was the joint effort of Calvin Oftana and Robert Bolick, who chalked 13 points apiece that proved to be crucial factor in the tightly contested game.
“I commend Calvin for having a good start. And then Robert did a good job at the end,” said Fernandez.
Bong Quinto fired a game-best 18 points to go with 10 rebounds while Jerrick Balanza added 16 markers for the Knights, who fell to 8-9 and a triple-tie on No. 4 with opening game winner San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) and Arellano University.
Letran was holding a slim 63-61 lead with under five minutes remaining when Balanza completed a three-point play.
Bolick then sparked a 9-2 rally highlighted by two sneaky layups to give San Beda a 72-65 cushion with 1:12 remaining.
Jeo Ambohot and Rey Nambatac sank three free throws as the Knights closed within four points, 68-72, but the Lions held to secure the win.
Earlier, Jayson David fueled San Sebastian to a wire-to-wire 97-70 victory over Mapua University (MU), keeping the host in contention for the last playoff berth.
David exploded with 24 points built on an 11-of-16 shooting clip on top of three rebounds and three assists as the Golden Stags seized their eighth win against nine defeats.
Alfren Gayosa and Alvin Capobres added 18 and 17 points, respectively, for San Sebastian, which has seven other players in the scoreboard.
“The whole team wants to win today. They showed heart and displayed that we still have a chance to enter the Final Four,” said San Sebastian mentor Egay Macaraya.
Cedric Pelayo finished with 16 points while Christian Buñag had a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds but all went down the drain as the cellar-dwelling Cardinals slid to 3-14.
In the curtain-closer, Lyceum stayed unscathed as it walloped Jose Rizal University (JRU), 100-63.
The Pirates improved to 17-0 while the Heavy Bombers, who were also playoff-bound, dropped to 11-7.
SSC-R (97)– David 24, Gayosa 18, Capobres 17, Calisaan 9, Ilagan 9, Calma 6, Costelo 5, Mercado 4, Bulanadi 3, Baetiong 2, Valdez 0, Navarro 0.
MU (70)– Pelayo 16, Orquina 15, Bunag 13, Estrella 12, Victoria 7, Jimenez 5, Raflores 2, Aguirre 0.
Quarterscores: 31-20; 46-34; 69-52; 97-70
SBC (73)– Tankoua 15, Bolick 13, Oftana 13, Mocon 8, Soberano 6, Abuda 6, Doliguez 5, Potts 3, Noah 2, Bahio 2, Adamos 0, Cabanag 0.
CSJL (68)– Quinto 18, Balanza 16, Calvo 12, Nambatac 8, Ambohot 7, Taladua 4, Vacaro 3, Balagasay 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0.
Quarterscores: 21-14; 33-31; 52-53; 73-68
LPU (100)– Perez 24, Pretta 9, Tansingco 9, Caduyac 8, Marcelino JC 8, Santos 8, Marata 8, Marcelino JV 6, Serrano 6, Ayaay 4, Nzeusseu 4, Ibañez 4, Liwag 2, Baltazar 0, Cinco 0.
JRU (63)– Castor 12, Teodoro 11, Dela Virgen 10, Poutouochi 8, Mendoza 8, Sibangan 4, Mariano 4, Grospe 4, Abdul Razak 2, Mate 0, Sawat 0, Pontejos 0, Bordon 0, Lasquety 0, David 0.
Quarterscores: 24-18; 42-34; 68-53; 100-63