SAN Beda was just the steadier team down the stretch as it outlasted rival Letran, 73-68, to zoom to its 15th straight win in the NCAA Season 93 on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Robert Bolick once again starred in a late rally for the Red Lions, making plays and scoring on daredevil drives as they improved to 16-1 before their much awaited rematch with the unbeaten Lyceum Pirates next week.
Down 63-61 with less than five minutes in the game, Bolick sparked an 11-2 run, which culminated in an Arnaud Noah basket to give the Red Lions a 72-65 spread.
Letran had chances to get back but the Knights missed several chances from downtown and up close as they saw their shot at an outright Final Four spot shut down.
With the loss, there's another three-way town from fourth to sixth falling to 8-9 with San Sebastian and Arellano.
"I will not take this game away from Letran. They really need to win this game to make it to the Final Four. It's a rivalry eh. We have to win this game to prepare for us against Lyceum on Thursday," said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez.
"We will not win this game had it not for our defense," he added.
Donald Tankoua led the Red Lions with 15 points and eight rebounds as Bolick had 13 points and six assists.
Calvin Oftana also had a huge start for the Red Lions, making most of his damage in the first half, to also finish with 13.
Bong Quinto paced the Knights with 18 points and 10 boards although they failed to get the same production from Rey Nambatac who finished with just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.
With the loss, the Knights are in a virtual must-win situation when they play the St. Benilde Blazers on Tuesday.
SAN BEDA 73 – Tankoua 15, Bolick 13, Oftana 13, Mocon 8, Soberano 6, Abuda 6, Doliguez 5, Potts 3, Noah 2, Bahio 2, Adamos 0, Cabanag 0
LETRAN 68 – Quinto 18, Balanza 16, Calvo 12, Nambatac 8, Ambohot 7, Taladua 4, Vacaro 3, Balagasay 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0
QUARTERSCORES: 21-14, 33-31, 52-53, 73-68