MANILA — San Beda University further solidified its chances of clinching a Final Four spot.
The Red Lions defeated Lyceum of the Philippines University, 74-56, at the NCAA Season 99 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Recent NCAA Player of the Week Yukien Andrada reset his career-high with 26 points and also finished with five rebounds, two assists, and a steal. He previously had 22 against the CSB Blazers.
Jacob Cortez tallied 16 markers, seven dimes, and four assists.
Only ahead by five with still eight minutes left in the game, San Beda outscored the Pirates in the next three minutes, 9-2, to re-extend their lead to double digits, 64-52.
This was enough for the Mendiola-based squad to further distance themselves throughout the rest of the game, even building an 18-point lead eventually, and this allowed SBU to improve to 11-6.
A JRU Heavy Bombers defeat tomorrow and a San Beda win against the Letran Knights on Friday will solidify their spot at the Final Four, but head coach Yuri Escueta is focused on just finishing the elimination round against their rivals on a high note.
“Mas worried kami sa next game namin. Letran ‘yon eh, so kailangan naming paghandaan,” he said during post-game.
“Walang bigayan ‘don.”
Still, he was glad of how they performed against LPU today.
“Defensively, we were able to execute, and they followed, so wala akong masabi,” the coach said.
LPU fell to 13-5 in the standings, but it was the Perpetual Altas who suffered the most as they are now already eliminated from playoff contention.
The Pirates were led by Enoch Valdez’s 17 markers, seven boards, and an assist, while Shawn Umali scored 14.
San Beda 74- Andrada 26, Cortez 16, Puno 8, Gonzales 5, Tagle 5, Alfaro 5, Jopia 4, Cuntapay 3, Payosing 2, Visser 0, Tagala 0
LPU 56- Valdez 17, Umali 14, Guadana 6, Montano 6, Barba 5, Versoza 4, Omandac 2, Penafiel 2, Cunanan 0, Bravo 0, Villegas 0, Culanay 0
Quarterscores: 22-16; 38-30; 52-44; 75-56