PASAY CITY – San Beda College-Rizal will now get to defend its title as the Red Cubs claimed the second and last seat in the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Juniors Division Finals with a resounding 102-93 demolition of rival Arellano University Tuesday (October 4) at the Mall of Asia Arena. Waiting for them is early qualifier Malayan High School of Science with Game One of the best-of-three series set for Thursday (October 6).
Six of the 10 players fielded by Coach JB Sison churned in double figures as the Red Cubs erected a 30-point lead in the third period, 67-37. The Braves were unfazed and continued to fight and suddenly finding themselves trailing by only six markers with 3:36 to go in the game on a triple by Marlon Espiritu, 85-91.
“We gave up too many free throws in the second half,” lamented Coach Sison. “Still, I admire my players’ work ethic and they are very coachable.”
The Red Cubs’ resilience showed beginning with two free throws by Robi Nayve off Carlo Abadeza followed by a steal and layup by JM Lagumen. Prince Etrata then completed their recovery with a triple at the 2:15 mark to up their cushion to 13 points, 98-85.
Determined to show that their 89-84 win in Game One was no fluke, the Braves showed signs of life Jayson Danas completing a three-point play and Aaron Fermin adding two free throws to threaten, 90-98. San Beda countered with free throws from Etrata and Nayve to insure the victory.
Nayve led the Red Cubs with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Lagumen followed with 16 points, nine coming in the first period.
Abadeza was the high man of the Braves with 19 points and nine rebounds. Fermin was next with 15 points and nine rebounds and Guilmer de la Torre added13 points but his disqualification on fouls with 5:30 left really affected their chances.
Against the Red Robins, Coach Sison is expecting another tough series as they go for their eighth straight championship. “They are taller than us but this series with a taller Arellano has somewhat prepared us for that situation,” he said.
How They Scored:
SAN BEDA-RIZAL (102) – Nayve 17, Lagumen 16, Obenza 15, Tagala 15, Mahinay 13, Alfaro 10, Etrata7, Abuhijle 5, Nelle 4, Barbero 0.
ARELLANO (93) – Abadeza 19, Fermin 15, de la Torre 13, Sunga 11, Batiller 10, Espiritu 9, Danas 7, de Leon 4, Velasco 3, Camarillo 2, Tamayo 0, Dimaunahan 0, Fornis 0, Dulatre 0, Domingo 0.
Period Scores: 28-17, 61-37, 83-67, 102-93.