SAN Beda completed an amazing turnaround in the NCAA Season 93 after sweeping its way to its 21st title in the league with a 92-82 win over once-invincible Lyceum on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Once again, it was Robert Bolick showing up when it mattered most as he took over at crunch time to stun the Pirates and steal the game away in the final few minutes.
Quiet for most of the game, Bolick scored seven points in the final five minutes while making some key assists as the Red Lions once again banked on their experience to turn the tide on the Pirates who were in control for most parts of the game.
The 6-foot-1 guard out of Leyte located AC Soberano for a corner three with 1:22 left, before draining a triple of his own with 50 seconds to go to take the fight out of the Pirates which saw their memorable season go to waste.
With the win, the Red Lions claimed their second straight title and their 10th crown in the last 12 seasons.
“Medyo tense sila nung first half because they really wanted to win this game. Nagsettle down kami ng halftime, told the boys na we need to make stops, one stop at a time if we want to be able to win the championship,” said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez who made a triumphant return to the league and took home his third title with the Red Lions.
Though no team really took a big lead in the game, the Pirates were pretty much in control early on as CJ Perez played true to form as the season MVP.
The Pirates looked like they were about to break the game wide open in the third quarter when they took a 65-57 lead with six minutes left, with Perez scoring five straight points.
But the Red Lions slowly trimmed the lead down to make a game out of it and once again set the stage for Bolick to take over in the endgame.
Bolick gladly obliged as he once again took charge in crunch time to put an end to what was a magical season for the Pirates.
“Bad game ako ng first half, they did a really good job yung Lyceum. Itong Finals na’to kung pwede lang dalawang champion, ibibigay ko to sa kanila,” said Bolick.
“They really made us earn it. This is the first time in 12 years na we came in as underdogs. Siguro yung experience lang talaga namin ang edge namin,” he added.
Bolick led the Red Lions with 18 points, nine coming in the fourth quarter, to go along six assists and five boards against just two turnovers.
Donald Tankoua, who was later adjudged as the Finals MVP, continued his monster series with 17 points and 17 rebounds. For the series, he averaged 22 points and 18.5 rebounds.
Davon Potts finished with 15 points anchored on three treys while JV Mocon and Soberano chipped in 14 and 11, respectively.
Perez pretty much did everything for the Pirates as he scored 22 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals but that wasn’t enough as they faltered anew at crunch time.
Mike Nzeusseu had 15 points and 15 boards while JC Marcelino chipped in 12.
SAN BEDA 92 – Bolick 18, Tankoua 17, Potts 15, Mocon 14, Soberano 11, Abuda 5, Bahio 5, Presbitero 3, Doliguez 2, Noah 2, Tongco 0, Adamos 0
LPU 82 – Perez 22, Nzeusseu 15, Marcelino JC 12, Ayaay 7, Caduyac 6, Santos 6, Tansingco 5, Marcelino JV 4, Pretta 2, Serrano 2, Ibanez 1, Baltazar 0
Quarterscores: 17-22, 41-47, 65-66, 92-82.