MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion San Sebastian and last year’s runner-up San Beda posted separate victories on Wednesday to extend their respective runs in the 86th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The San Sebastian Stags battled the Arellano U Chiefs to a 69-58 win while the San Beda Red Lions overwhelmed the St. Benilde Blazers with an emphatic 87-61 victory.
Calvin Abueva led the Stags’ offensive against the Chiefs with a superb double-double performance, tallying 17 points, 17 rebounds to go with 2 steals.
The defending champions had to shrug off a slow start especially after the Chiefs, headed by Isiah Ciriacruz, surprised them with an impressive 22-16 offensive in the 1st quarter.
San Sebastian came back strong in the next 2 quarters, scoring 20 points per period against Arellano. The Stags were already leading, 56-47, at the end of the 3rd.
In the final 2 minutes of the game, the Stags were ahead by 15 points, 69-54, and were just killing time to secure their 7th consecutive win.
San Beda, for its part, had an easier time handling St. Benilde.
Although the Blazers kept the game close in the first half, 37-35, they failed to stop the Lions’ 3rd quarter surge.
Sudan Daniels and Rome dela Rosa teamed for San Beda’s 22-point explosion in the quarter to zoom away with a 56-47 lead.
The Lions led the Blazers by as much as 20 points midway the final quarter, 70-50, and were virtually trouble-free on their way to their 7th win.
Daniels finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks for San Beda while Dela Rosa registered 14 points and 4 caroms.