Red Lions oust Altas, book 11th straight NCAA Finals berth
San Beda didn’t waste its chance this time.
The Red Lions bucked a poor start and unleashed a superb second half to turn back Perpetual, 78-63 and book a return trip to the Finals in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Davon Potts got his shots down to topscore for San Beda with 16 points, nine coming in the fourth, to break the game wide open. He also had three rebounds and three assists in the win, which allowed the school to continue its streak of 11th straight Finals appearances.
“We wanted to come in and rest our bodies and really prepare,” said coach Jamike Jarin as the Red Lions ousted the gutsy Altas. “Like what were saying, at this time of the year, you can’t be tired, you can’t be hurting. It’s for all the marbles in the world, it’s all about the last 80 minutes.”
Robert Bolick also provided the spark in the second period, firing 10 markers as San Beda survived 13 turnovers in the first half to gain a 37-30 lead at halftime.
Javee Mocon also had a double-double with 12 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks .
Forced to a winner-take-all tiff after squandering their twice-to-beat edge, Jarin took responsibility for the Red Lions’ 87-83 Game 1 defeat last Friday.
“We wanted to get in the Finals earlier. If you’re not going to play a knockout game, at least you could get a chance to rest,” he said. “We’re hoping the series between Arellano and Mapua could have gotten extended, but it turned out it’s the other way around. It’s also credit to Perpetual. They were one win away from making it to the Finals, too.”
“When you’re so used to winning and when you come to the game and nothing works for you, you get frustrated. In the first game, we were frustrated and it showed up to the players.”
But on Tuesday, San Beda finally calmed its senses and set up a meeting against Arellano in the best-of-3 championship series starting Thursday still at the same venue.
Gab Dagangon led Perpetual with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Daryl Singontiko had 11 markers in the loss.
The Altas also couldn’t recapture the thunder they had in Game 1, shooting a measly 29-percent from the field while allowing the Red Lions to shoot at a 47-percent clip.
San Beda was also successful in shutting down Bright Akhuetie, as the Cameroonian could only muster eight points and 10 rebounds in the season-ending loss.
SAN BEDA 78 – Potts 16, Bolick 14, Mocon 12, Soberano 9, Noah 7, Adamos 7, Sara 6, Oftana 4, Presbitero 2, Bahio 1, Tongco 0, Alas 0, Bonsubre 0, Carlos 0, Navarro 0.
PERPETUAL 63 – Dagangon 16, Singontiko 11, Akhuetie 8, Eze 6, Sadiwa 6, Ylagan 5, Coronel 3, Hao 3, Dizon 3, Pido 2, Gallardo 0, Yuhico 0, Mangalino 0.
Quarters: 15-20, 37-30, 56-39, 78-63.