MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The San Beda College (SBC) Red Lions mangled the Letran Knights in Game 3, 67-39, to become the winningest team in NCAA history with 17 titles.
The Lions had no problem manhandling the Knights, who came off with an equalizing 64-55 win in Game 2.
|The proud San Beda Red Lions sing their school hymn following their 17th NCAA basketball title win. Photo by Rem Zamora, ABS-CBNnews.com
The title finish was the Lions’ first under their new coach Ronnie Magsanoc, who took over the reins since Frankie Lim left the team.San Beda’s led by as much as 28 points while shutting down Letran’s offense in the last two quarters.
“Sila ang bayani dahil sila naman ang naglaro sa loob ng court,” Magsanoc, a former Red Cub, said of his boys. “All I did was guide them and just make sure that there were on the right path.”
San Beda immediately set the tone of the game in the first period with Ola Adeogun and Baser Amer helping the Mendiola-based squad to an 18-10 lead.
Letran tried to stop the bleeding in the second period via back-to-back baskets by Kevin Alas and Jamieson Cortes.
But team captain, Jake Pascual, immediately quashed the Knights’ short run with two successive shots for a 34-17 halftime advantage for San Beda.
A 6-0 rally by Mark Cruz and Cortes seemed to perk up the blue shirts in the third period.
Letran, however, went on a dry spell against San Beda's tight defense which held the Knights to just 8 points in that quarter.
The Knights scoring woes continued in the fourth as San Beda pulled away for good.
Amer was named as the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP), having guided the Lions to victories in Games 1 and 3.
“Actually last night hindi ako makatulog kasi iniisip ko kung anong maitutulong ko sa team. At ito na ‘yon,” said the San Beda point guard.
For his part, graduating player Pascual thanked the Bedan community even after their Game 2 loss to Letran.
“Sobrang suporta nila sa akin since the first day na dumating ako sa San Beda College. Thank you sa Bedan community... lasapin natin ang championship na ito,” he said.
Anjo Caram, who played his final NCAA year, top scored the Lions with 17 points, while Amer had 14 points.
"Sobrang sarap ng feeling kasi e-exit ako na champion ako, so thank you talaga kay God," said Caram.
San Beda (67) -- Caram 17, Amer 14, J. Pascual 10, Adeogun 6, Dela Rosa 5, Koga 4, K. Pascual 4, Mendoza 2, Abarcar 2, Ludovice 2, Dela Cruz 1, Bonsubre 0, Lim 0, Villaruz 0, Moralde 0.
Letran (39) -- Cruz 12, K. Alas 11, Cortes 6, Racal 3, Almazan 3, J. Alas 2, Almario 2, Belorio 0, Lituania 0, Gabawan 0, Luib 0, Cudal 0.
Quarters: 18-10, 34-17, 45-25, 67-39