San Beda regains NCAA juniors title, routs Lyceum
MANILA, Philippines—Their pride pricked by an unexpected setback, the San Beda Red Cubs came back with a vengeance and demolished the Lyceum Junior Pirates, 98-77, to claim the NCAA Season 95 juniors basketball crown.
The Red Cubs reclaimed the title, their 23rd overall, after failing to seize the championship the past three seasons.
“My players gave their all in this game while our coaching staff sacrificed to get the job done,” said San Beda headcoach Manu Inigo, son of former Philippine Daily Inquirer sports editor Manolo Inigo.
Rhayyan Amsali, San Beda’s rugged forward, was named Finals MVP after averaging 16 points per game during the best-of-three series that reached its limit after the Junior Pirates pulled off a surprise act in Game 2.
“It was a total team effort. We did away the negative things that happened in Game 2 and focused on winning the championship,” said Amsali, one of eight graduating players in the Red Cubs roster.
Justin Sanchez had 19 points, Jay Ynot added 18 while Amsali powered his way to 16 points and collected 11 rebounds for the Red Cubs, who pulled away on the first half and never looked back.
Cyrus Llarena and Wilmer Oftana also delivered off the bench along with guard Prince Alao and Dom Cabanero as they employed a defensive crackdown on the Junior Pirates, designed especially for tournament MVP John Barba.
“We lost the second game because of pressure and excitement. We just talked it over and fixed the mindset of the team,” said Inigo, the junior coach of the year on his rookie season.
SAN BEDA 98—Sanchez 19, Ynot 18, Amsali 16, Llarena 10, Oftana 9, Alao 8, Cabanero 5, Pelipel 4, Andrada 3, Nicdao 3, Alcantara 2, Delfino 1, Pascual 0, Valencia 0, Perigrina 0.
LYCEUM 77—Guadania 24, Omandac 12, Barba 11, Montano 10, Garro 6, Panganiban 5, Ragasa 5, Caduyac 2, Garing 2, Gamlanga 0, Gudmalin 0, Dejelo 0, Dumon 0.
Quarters: 27-18, 50-33, 81-51, 98-77
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