REIGNING NCAA men’s champion San Beda survived a big fourth quarter comeback by South Western University to hack out a thrilling 73-72 win in the Phlippine Collegiate Champions League Final Four Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.
The Cobras almost completed a fight back from 20 points down as they came to within 72-73, and had ball possession in the dying seconds of the match.
But the reigning Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. champions failed to come up with a game-winning play as Joseph Nalos held on to the ball too long to the consternation of his coach, the temperamental Yayoy Alcoseba.
“Basta para sa amin, a win is a win,” said an obviously relieved San Beda coach Ronnie Magsanoc moments after the chilling Final Four win.
“I just felt we got tired in the second half.”
Jake Pascual led the Red Lions with 17 points, while Baser Amer and Ryusei Koga added 15 and 12, respectively.
San Beda led by as much as 45-65 with 1:13 remaining in the third period before SWU launched a spirited rally in the fourth quarter by holding the Red Lions to just six points on two field goals by Pascual and Koga.
“Na-pumped up sila sa second half. Si (Benoit) M-bala rumaragasa talaga,” said Magsanoc of the Cobra’s 22 points in the final period.
M-bala led all scorers with 27 points, while Monbert Arong had 13 for SWU.
San Beda (73) -- Pascual, J. 17, Amer 15, Koga 12, Caram 9, Dela Cruz 7, Pascual, K. 6, Dela Rosa 4, Ludovice 3, Mendoza 0.
South Western University (72) -- M-bala 27, Arong 13, Aboude 8, Guilena 8, Nalos 7, Bregondo 6, Ortuyo 3, Goloran 0, Dedace 0.
Quarterscores: 23-19, 46-29, 67-50, 73-72.