San Beda booters enter NCAA Final 4 unbeaten


San Beda College (SBC) ended its campaign in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Tournament unbeaten after crushing defending champions Arellano University (AU), 6-0, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Friday.

The league’s top scorer Estephen Abriol scored the first goal for San Beda, 1-0, going into the halftime break.

Arellano started the second half with small counterattacks but were unable to penetrate the defense of their foes.

The Bedans scored another goal in the 52nd minute of the contest courtesy of defender Mike Riconalla.

Fullback Aljo Zabala added a goal of his own in the 68th minute, 3-0, via free kick 60 yards from the touchline.

The Red-and-White brigade maintained their pace exploiting the sloppy defense of Arellano. Geno Dalampan added another goal for San Beda in the 71st minute.

Problems besieged the Chiefs in the remaining minutes of regulation as Mario Titoy was called for a hard tackle on an attacking SBC player. Consequently, Beda’s Nimrod Balabat scored with a penalty shot, 5-0, with less than 14 minutes left in the game.

Substitute James Pangasian, who came in the second half, notched the final marker to complete San Beda’s sweep of the preliminary round of the competition.

“First of all, I commend my players for having the desire to win every game from the start. I think it became the key for us to get this kind of result,” head coach Christopher Pedimonte told The Manila Times in Filipino.

He stressed that mental preparation played a crucial role in their campaign.

“We did not adjust much of our attack but I think it all came down to the mental strength of my players. I always tell my players to always have the willingness and desire to take back what we lost last year,” he concluded.

San Beda tallied a total of 18 points on six straight wins while Arellano, with two losses and four victories finished No.3 in the standings.

College of Saint Benilde and Lyceum of the Philippines University complete the cast of teams that will compete in the second round.


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