SAN Beda jumped on two-seed Mapua early and held on to take an 84-71 victory to force a do-or-die game in the NCAA Season 94 juniors Final Four Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Jade Talampas carried the torch for the Red Cubs with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and two steals in the conquest.
Penny Estacio also unloaded 18 points, five assists, and two boards, as Tony Ynot scored seven of his 13 points in that payoff period to put the finishing touches on the San Beda conquest.
The Red Cubs went on the prowl early on, taking a 15-2 start and holding off the Red Robins' second quarter barrage with another 11-0 blast to grab a 44-33 lead near the end of the first half.
San Beda went on to extend the lead to 23, 73-50, but Jonnel Policarpio and Clint Escamis refused to let Mapua down, cutting the deficit to as low as nine, 77-68, but Ynot was there to slam the door as the third-seed Red Cubs forced a win-or-go home Game 2 on Monday.
"Every time na Mapua talaga ang kalaban, ang hirap. Good thing we got the win and we’re still alive," said coach JB Sison.
"We have two days to prepare and sana maka-rest and recover agad. Kung magagawa namin ulit to sa Monday, it’s a good accomplishment for us."
Dan Arches topped the Red Robins with 19 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists, while Policarpio got a double-double of 15 and 12.
Escamis racked seven points on a 3-of-9 shooting, on top of four rebounds in his first game from a knee injury.
SAN BEDA 84 – Talampas 26, Estacio 18, Ynot 13, Oliva 10, Sanchez 7, Lazaro 5, Llarena 2, Coyoca 2, Alcantara 1, Andrada 0, Pelipel 0, Valencia 0, Competente 0.
MAPUA 71 – Arches 19, Policarpio 15, Escamis 7, Sarias 6, Quimado 6, Smith 5, Mariano 5, Diaz 4, Hernandez 3, Tagal 1, Dennison 0.
Quarters: 26-15, 44-34, 71-50, 84-71