San Beda retains NCAA basketball crown

Game on Monday

(Filoil Flying V Arena)

2 p.m. – San Beda Red Cubs vs CSB-LSGH Greenies (Game 2 juniors)

San Beda College played with cool precision and delivered the killer blows when it mattered the most, beating San Sebastian, 57-55, for the second time in three days to complete a 2-0 sweep of the best-of-three championship series en route to their fifth title in six years in Game 2 of the 87th National Collegiate Athletics Association seniors basketball finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

San Beda coach Frankie Lim, who copped his fourth title since taking over as coach in 2007, said the win meant so much for the Red Lions and to their supporters, and that determination showed on how the Red Lions dismantled the Stags after a slow start.

“We really wanted this win. During practice yesterday (Tuesday), I told the boys that I wanted that practice to be our last practice for the season. I didn’t want a Game 3,” said Lim, who got the traditional victory ride from his players and a tight embrace from his wife Olen after the hard-fought match.

Lim was also named as Coach of the Year in the awarding ceremony that followed and was graced by University of Perpeutal Help Dalta System president and Policy Board head Anthony Tamayo.

The Red Lions settled in the second half after a shaky start, trailing, 27-32, after two quarters, as Ronald Pascual waxed hot, hitting four treys to erase a six-point deficit and give San Sebastian the lead going into the second half.

San Beda, playing before a huge crowd with more red than yellow, made its move early in the second quarter, cutting the lead to two, 48-50, at the end of the third behind an 8-2 run sparked by Dave Marcelo’s inside incursion, a minute to go before the playoff period.

The Red Lions finally wrested the lead on a basket by Anthony Semerad 55-52, halfway in the fourth. A long scoreless spell followed, with both teams failing to buy a basket, before David Semerad hit two more free throws off Calvin Abueva’s flagrant foul to pad their lead to 57-53, time down to 1:13.

Jovit dela Cruz hit an 18 footer in the next play to push the Stags to within two, 55-57, and forced the Red Lions to miss in the ensuing play.

SSC coach Toper Robinson sued for time to map out San Sebastian’s potential game-tying play, but Pascual, covered by three players on top of the key, missed a despetarion three-point trey as the Red Lions escaped with the win – and the championship.

For the second straight game, Garvo Lanete played below par after contracting fever, but Marcelo played huge for San Beda, hauling down 16 rebounds while taking on Abueva on defense.

“Sixteen rebounds, Puyat pa yan kagabi dahil nag-party pa yata,” joked Lim about the beefy Marcelo, who will be graduating next year. Marcelo played for the Red Lons on Lim’s rookie year as a coach.

Marcelo was later named as the Finals MVP. He averaged 8.1, 3.5 rebounds and a block per game in his last two games.

David Semerad, the other half of the twin siblings, this time outshone his brother Anthony, scoring 15 points and grabbing three rebounds while Anjo Caram had 10, and Mar Villahermosa, 8.

Pascual led the Stags with 15 points wth five treys, Ian Sangalang had 13 and Abueva, 12.

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