MANILA—Excellence promised. Excellence delivered.
Tougher when it mattered, San Beda reclaimed the NCAA basketball crown in record-setting fashion as the Red Lions scored an 85-70 decision over the San Sebastian Stags Friday night that capped a perfect 18-0 season before an adoring throng at the Araneta Coliseum.
Sudan Daniel produced a performance worthy of his Most Valuable Player award, Garvo Lanete delivered in the clutch as he had all season, and Borgie Hermida provided San Beda a steady presence in crunchtime as the Lions roared to their fourth crown in five years.
San Beda’s Red Cubs set up the championship double by crushing the San Sebastian Staglets, 95-84, to sweep the best-of-three juniors’ finals earlier.
It marked only the eighth time that a school pulled off a sweep of the collegiate and juniors crowns in the NCAA, and the first since Letran achieved the feat in 1983.
The Lions moved within a crown of matching Letran’s record of 16 seniors titles.
“Excellent,” said San Beda coach Frankie Lim when asked to describe their big season.
“This victory belongs to our team, our supporters and the San Beda community. I don’t think there’s any team in this league that works harder,” added Lim, a member of the 1978 San Beda squad, who collected his third title as coach of the Mendiola-based school.
An intimidating force inside, Daniel, awarded the MVP trophy before the game, pumped in 24 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and blocked five shots in a sensational effort that also earned for him the Finals MVP plum.
“He just made a complete turnaround,” said Lim of the 6-foot-7 American recruit from Compton Dominguez High School in California, who was thoroughly outplayed by the Stags’ big men in last year’s finals.
The 5-foot-11 Lanete struck with 14 points, including four straight when the Stags came within six points in the last 3:30, while Hermida, who starred in Game 1, proved solid in his last game for the Lions, finishing with 10 points and five assists.
When the final buzzer sounded, players jumped in delight around an ecstatic Lim.
Except for a late run by the Stags midway in the fourth period, the Lions were hardly troubled in avenging their finals loss last year.
Four straight charities by Jonathan Semira following a technical foul on the Lions bench allowed the Stags to trim the gap, 66-72.
Lanete returned to bury a triple and hit another free throw to spark a 10-0 burst capped by Daniel’s two-handed dunk that made it 82-66 with 1:33 remaining.
In the juniors finals, Baser Amer, the player tipped to replace Hermida in the Lions’ squad next season, fired 25 points and dished out eight assists as the Cubs collected their 18th crown. Photo by Jan Dizon, NCAA.org.ph
First Game (Jrs)
SAN BEDA 95—Amer 25, Chavez 18, Abatayo 18, Gotladera 14, Da. Nazareno 9, Javier 8, Abarcar 3, Do. Nazareno 0, Miranda 0.
SAN SEBASTIAN 84—Jumao-as 38, Magno 18, Vergara 13, Vitug 11, Pante 3, Pascual 1, Macasaet 0, Leyva 0, Gianan 0, Balid 0, Santos 0, Escalambre 0.
Quarters: 18-32, 53-47, 73-70, 95-84
Second Game (Srs)
SAN BEDA 85—Daniel 24, Lanete 14, Hermida 10, dela Rosa 8, A. Semerad 8, J. Pascual 5, Caram 5, K. Pascual 4, Marcelo 4, D. Semerad 2, Mendoza 1.
SAN SEBASTIAN 70—Semira 13, Bulawan 12, Sangalang 10, del rio 10, Raymundo 9, Abueva 8, Pascual 4, Najorda 2, dela Cruz 2, Gorospe 0, Gatchalian 0, Maiquez 0.
Quarters: 20-17, 43-27, 58-49, 85-70
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