MANILA, Philippines -- The defending champion San Beda Red Lions banked on a big third quarter run to subdue the University of the Philippines (UP) Maroons, 66-56, last Saturday in the second stage of the quarterfinals playoffs of the 9th Fr. Martin Cup Collegiate Open basketball tournament.
Baser Amer and Rome de la Rosa fired 12 points each for the Red Lions, who led three other squads in reaching the semifinals when action ended at the Trinity University of Asia gymnasium in Quezon City.
A three-point play from Arthur de la Cruz in the last 8:41 of the third period allowed the Red Lions to break free from a 35-all.
Later, a three-point play from de la Rosa and a dunk from Olaide Adeogun allowed the Red Lions to stage a 14-4 run which handed them a 49-39 spread in the remaining 4:23.
Meanwhile, the Letran Knights bumped off the College of St. Benilde-B Blazers, 68-64, to join the Red Lions in the semis with the Arellano University Chiefs and the CSB-A Blazers.
Mark Cruz showed the way for the Knights with 24 points, keeping them afloat in the final period with his five free throws, including two crucial freebies in the final 23 seconds.