San Beda Red Cubs dispose of Arellano Braves to bag seventh straight NCAA Juniors basketball title
The Red Cubs bounce back from a heartbreaking loss to clinch the title in three games. Jerome Ascano

SAN Beda won its seventh straight NCAA championship with a 70-61 victory over Arellano on Thursday in the Season 91 juniors basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Germy Mahinay had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Cubs in the third match of the title showdown, while Evan Nelle registered 13 and eight as the Red Cubs en route to winning the Finals Most Valuable Player.

“Hindi naman namin binibilang eh,” said San Beda coach JB Sison. “Kung ano ‘yung challenge na binibigay, ‘yun ang susubukan naming gawin.”

The Red Cubs bounced back from their Game Two loss to the Braves that prevented the Taytay-based squad from completing a sweep. Before that, San Beda had won 19 straight games.

“Hindi naman namin goal ‘yun eh (sweep). We took it one game at a time. Nangyari lang. Kung sweep, blessing ‘yun pero ang goal namin is the championship,” said Sison.

The Red Cubs took a 52-45 third-quarter lead before Arellano cut the deficit to three points, 52-49. But momentum swung in favor of San Beda.

Nelle capped off a 9-3 run in the fourth by hitting a triple that put the Red Cubs ahead, 63-54. Mahinay scored eight in the fourth including a shortstab that made it a 69-58 game with less than two minutes to play in the game.

Guilmer Dela Torre had 15 points for the Braves, who failed to hold on to the lead in the first half.

The scores:

San Beda (70)—Mahinay 15, Nelle 13, Velasquez 12, Etrata 8, Bordeus 8, Abu Hijle 6, Tagala 4, Nayve 2, Dela Rosa 2, Barbero 0.

Arellano (61)—Dela Torre 15, Sunga 13, Tamayo 12, Abadeza 9, Fornis 5, Danas 3, Espiritu 2, Bataller 2, Velasco 0, Calapine 0.

Quarterscores: 14-17; 30-32; 52-49; 70-61.

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