San Beda vs Letran in NCAA Finals as Red Lions end quest of JRU Heavy Bombers
Pro-bound Art dela Cruz was again a force in the middle for San Beda. Dante Peralta

SAN Beda set up another finals duel with Letran on Tuesday after a 78-68 win over fourth seed Jose Rizal University in the NCAA Season 91 Final Four men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.

The top-seeded Red Lions took control of the game in the third period and held on to oust the Bombers and stay on course for a sixth successive championship in the country's oldest collegiate league.

With the win, San Beda arranged a best-of-three finals with the Knights for the third time in four years. Game One is set on Friday, 4 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.

San Beda turned to a deep rotation and it paid dividends, with Roldan Sara and Baser Amer scoring 11 points and AC Soberano adding 10 points and Donald Tankoua contributing a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

After being down for the most part of the game, the Red Lions finally took the lead, 56-53, entering the fourth period before the second stringers finishing the game.

Tankoua led the Red Lions in the fourth quarter, scoring seven in place of Ola Adeogun who spend a good part of the fourth on the bench.

In total, the bench scored 50 points for the Red Lions.

“I’ve done this since time immemorial," said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin when asked about his super subs. "The biggest game of the season, and guess what, the bench delivered.” 

San Beda will now be facing a familiar foe in Letran, who it beat for the 2012 and 2013 championships.

Marco Balagtas and Abdoul Poutouochi had 14 and 12 points for the Heavy Bombers, who only had nine and six markers, respectively, from Tey Teodoro and Paolo Pontejos.

The scores:

San Beda (78) — Amer 11, Sara 11, Soberano 10, Tankoua 10, Mocon 8, Sorela 7, Adeogun 5, Dela Cruz 5, Tongco 4, Koga 3, Reyes 2, Presbitero 2, Cabanag 0, Bonsubre 0, Sedillo 0.

JRU (68) — Balagtas 14, Poutouochi 12, Teodoro 9, Dela Paz 8, Estrella 8, Astilla 6, Pontejos 6, Abdul Wahab 3, Lasquety 2, Sanchez 0, Grospe 0.

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Quarterscores: 17-19, 30-32, 56-53, 78-68.

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