DEFENDING champion San Beda beat University of the Philippines, 66-56, to reach the semifinals of the 9th Fr. Martin Cup Collegiate Open basketball tournament over the weekend.
Baser Amer and Rome de la Rosa fired 12 points each for the Red Lions, who led three other teams to the semifinals in action at the Trinity University of Asia gymnasium in Quezon City.
The Red Lions will take on the Arellano Chiefs, who had 14 points from Brian Nichols to beat the Informatics Icons, 70-63.
The Letran Knights, with Mark Cruz showing the way with 24 points, bumped off the College of St. Benilde-B Blazers, 68-64.
Luis Antonio Sinco sank two crucial free throws in the dying seconds for CSB-A Blazers, who eased out the Adamson Falcons, 50-46, and moved into a semis clash with the Knights.
A three-point play from Arthur de la Cruz in the last 8:41 of the third period allowed the Red Lions to break free from a tight 35-all contest.
Later, a three point play from de la Rosa and a dunk from Ola Adeogun allowed the Red Lions to stage a 14-4 run and handed them a 49-39 spread in the remaining 4:23.
Sinco sank two gift shots in the last 27.6 seconds, enabling CSB-A to stay out of harm’s way at endgame.