SAN Beda College on Wednesday captured its fifth straight title in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball with an 89-70 romp over Arellano University at The Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
Filipino-Australian Anthony Semerad, Baser Amer, Kyle Pascual, Arthur de la Cruz and Roldan Sara combined to give the Red Lions their 19th NCAA crown and their 8th in the last nine years.
The school completed a two-game sweep of the championship series after winning Game One, 74-66, last Monday.
The Arellano Chiefs had a brief taste of the lead in the opening minute, 2-0, on Nichole Bangga’s jumper. After that, it was all San Beda.
With Semerad, Baser and Pascual finding their range, the Red Lions raced to 22-14, and further widened the lead to 39-23, as the second quarter drew to a close.
The 6-foot-3 Semerad, who will suit up for Globalport Batang Pier in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), finished with a game-high 30 points and nine rebounds. He was also named the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).
San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez was named Coach of the Year.
“I thank our benefactor [Manuel] “Manny” V. Pangilinan, our school management, our fans for their support. I credit our victory to the players. They wanted to win five straight titles and they got it. I hope, they will make it six straight next year,” said Fernandez, who is ending his collegiate coaching stint to mentor the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA.
Fernandez contributed two titles in the Red Lions’ quest for five straight crowns, with the other two coming from coaches Frankie Lim and Ronnie Magsanoc.
“I’m going to miss this team. I’ll be missing my boys very much. We have been together for two years and I enjoy being with them,” he said.
The closest the Chiefs, who were in their first Finals since joining the league in 2009, could get was 44-33. The Red Lions were never threatened seriously and even widened the gap to 82-63 just before the two-minute mark.
“This is my last year with the Red Lions. We really tried hard, we worked hard to win the championship,” Semerad said.
Joining San Beda’s scoring spree were Amer with 17 points and Nigerian Ola Adeogun with 14.
Arellano playmaker Nard Pinto finished with only six points and Jiovani Jalalon could only manage five.
In the high school finals, San Beda bounced back with a 78-68 win over Mapua to tie the series at one game each and arrange a winner-take-all battle on Saturday at the MOA Arena.