HARDLY showing rust from a long layoff, San Beda leaned on an explosive start to whip San Sebastian, 83-64, last night and post its sixth straight victory in the 89th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Art dela Cruz, Rome dela Rosa and Baser Amer joined forces in a torrid attack in the first 10 minutes to set up the Lions for a wire-to-wire win that tightened their grip on second spot by improving to 7-1.
Dela Cruz finished with 17 points, including five in the first period, nine rebounds and six assists, while Dela Rosa tallied 10 of his 14 points in the first 10 minutes.
Still waxing hot from beyond the arc, Amer pumped in 15 for the Lions, who pounced on a San Sebastian squad that missed leading scorer Jamil Ortuoste because of an injured ankle.
Earlier, College of St. Benilde rode a strong finish to slip past Arellano, 69-62, for a second straight victory.
Mark Romero knocked in a couple of clutch triples as the Blazers proved more than equal to every shot made by the rallying Chiefs in the final minutes.
The Blazers improved to 2-5, joining the Chiefs, Lyceum Pirates and Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals in a tie for sixth spot. It was Arellano’s third straight loss.
“This was a totally different team than the one I saw in practice,” said St. Benilde coach Gabby Velasco. “They’re showing confidence in the fourth quarter.”
Romero wound up with 18 points, while Paolo Taha and Jonathan Grey each finished with 12 like Pons Saavedra, who fouled out midway in the final period.
The Blazers dedicated the victory to former St. Benilde athletic director Sonny Alvarez, who passed away due to cardiac arrest last Aug. 2.
ST. BENILDE 69—Romero 18, Saavedra 12, Taha 12, Grey 12, Argamino 4, Ongteco 4, Sinco 3, Bartolo 2, Garcia 2, Deles 0.
ARELLANO 62—Caperal 10, Forrester 10, Serjue 7, Pinto 6, Jalalon 4, Agovida 4, Salcedo 4, Enriquez 3, Nicholls 2, Hernandez 2, Gumaru 0, Bangga 0, Cadavis 0.
Quarters: 17-18, 35-28, 49-45, 69-62