SSC Stags clinch Final 4 2nd seedBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
(Filoil Flying V Arena)
6 p.m.—Perpetual Help vs JRU
San Sebastian left its fate in the hands of Calvin Abueva. He delivered with aplomb.
Abueva sizzled for 13 of his 23 points in the final period as San Sebastian repulsed San Beda, 69-55, last night to clinch the No. 2 seed heading into the Final Four of the 88th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena.
Abueva also had 16 rebounds and three assists as he finished the season on top of three statistical categories—points, rebounds and assists.
He carried the Stags in the second half, nailing the baskets that mattered and finding open teammates for baskets.
Abueva nailed back-to-back triples to extend the lead to 56-45 with three minutes remaining all but wrapping up the Stags’ 13th win of the season and completing a season sweep of the defending champion Lions, the No. 1 seed.
“I needed to step up without Ronald (Pascual),” said Abueva. Pascual was ejected for a disqualifying foul on Rome dela Rosa four minutes into the game. But his absence was hardly felt as Abueva and Ian Sangalang came through with big games.
In juniors play, former national Under-16 standouts Arvin Tolentino and Joshua Caracut sparkled in the final period as San Beda trounced San Sebastian, 66-61, to nail the semis top seed.
Tolentino pumped in a game-high 20 points and grabbed 12 boards while Caracut finished with 14 as the defending champion Red Cubs wound up with a 17-1 record at the end of the elimination round.
Caracut came off the bench to pour 10 of his total output in the final period as San Beda climbed out of a seven-point deficit late in the third period to forge a duel with the loser of the playoff between St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills or Letran.
The Squires, drawing big games from John Quinto and Rey Nambatac, earned the playoff after a 79-61 whipping of Mapua in an earlier game.
The Senior scores:
SAN SEBASTIAN 69—Abueva 23, Sangalang 19, Maiquez 13, Juico 6, Gusi 5, Dela Cruz 3, Miranda 0, Antipuesto 0, Vitug 0, Pascual 0, Rebullos 0.
SAN BEDA 55—Dela Rosa 12, Lim 11, Caram 7, K. Pascual 6, J. Pascual 6, Adeogun 5, Amer 4, Dela Cruz 4, Ludovice 0, Mendoza 0, Koga 0.
Quarters: 9-7, 30-22, 43-41, 69-55