San Beda College dominated the last three quarters to beat Arellano University, 83-73, in Game 2 of the best-of-three finals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 men’s basketball tournament on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Arnaud Noah, who was named the Finals Most Valuable Player, notched 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the field to go along with 11 rebounds and two assists to hand the Red Lions their 20th overall crown. It was also San Beda’s ninth title in 11 years of being in the championship round.
“Like what I’ve said before, this team is built to be selfless,” said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin during the post game interview. “I’m happy for this title because everybody contributed in this championship. They just trusted and believed each other. This is really a competition and they really fought well.”
“Our coach asked the team that everyone should step up,” said Noah. “I wanted the win for our team so I gave all the effort for them. We deserved this title because we really worked hard for it. I’m happy of what we achieved.”
AC Soberano scored 16 points on 4-of-9 shooting in the three-point zone, while Robert Bolick added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the field for the Red Lions. Javee Mocon had 10 points and nine rebounds, while rookie Davon Potts contributed all 10 points in the fourth quarter also for San Beda.
Arellano opened the game with a blazing start, taking a 25-18 lead entering the second quarter but couldn’t stop San Beda in the next quarter. The Red Lions banked on Soberano’s hot shooting to outscore the Chiefs in the second frame, 27-15, to snatch the lead at halftime, 45-40.
Noah delivered seven points to protect the Red Lions’ advantage until the end of the third period, 63-60. In the fourth period, the Chiefs had a chance to seize the win as they led in the last six minutes, 68-66, after Jalalon’s
two free throws.
But Potts ignited San Beda’s 22-7 blast highlighted by his three crucial three-pointers to provide them an 80-73 cushion with still 49.5 ticks to go. The Red Lions were never threatened from thereon as the Chiefs also were held scoreless in the remaining seconds.
Combo guard Jio Jalalon posted 19 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, while Allen Enriquez had 14 points and eight rebounds to lead Arellano.
The Red Lions grabbed more rebounds (53-47), got more assists (21-19) and three-pointers (12-9) than the Chiefs. San Beda, which won Game 1, 88-85, last Thursday, ended the elimination round with a league-leading 14-4 win-loss record.
Meanwhile, Nigerian behemoth Allwell Oraeme was named Most Valuable Player for the second straight season and was part of the Mythical 5 selection together with Arellano’s Jalalon, Perpetual Help’s Bright Akhuetie, San Beda College’s Donald Tankoua and Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Hamadou Laminou.
“I’m thankful of this but it would be more of a blessing for me if we could improve next year,” Oraeme, 20, told
reporters during the post game interview.
Oraeme, who won the highest individual plum last year on his rookie season, also won the Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year for averaging 16 points, a league-best 20 rebounds and 2.4 blocks a game.
The 6-9 Oraeme amassed a total of 65.12 MVP statistical points to beat Jalalon’s 57.50 points on norms of 21.1 points, six boards, 7.4 assists and 2.3 steals.
Mike Nzeusseu was named rookie of the year to beat Arellano’s Lervin Flores.
In the juniors’ finals Game 2, San Beda posted an 81-78 victory over Mapua High to forge a deciding Game 3 behind Carlo Obenza’s team-best 19 points including seven in the final five minutes. The sudden-death Game 3 is set on Friday at The Arena in San Juan City.
In the juniors’ division, La Salle-Greenhills’ Troy Mallillin copped the MVP award and the mythical team selection.