CEBU CITY – NCAA champion San Beda Red weathered a fourth quarter fightback from University of San Carlos to escape with an 85-75 victory in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League Elite Eight stage on Saturday at the Cebu Coliseum.
After seeing the UAAP champion National University beaten by the University of the Visayas, the Red Lions were determined not to suffer the same fate and zoomed off to a 41-21 lead with four straight three-pointers.
But the Cesafi runners-up wouldn’t not go down without a fight, rallying in the fourth period behind Ian Tagapan who scored eight points in a 14-4 run capped by a triple by Francis Arjon that tied the game at 67, with 6:26 to go.
The veteran Red Lions kept their poise and responded with a 14-2 blast, with Baser Amer nailing two three-pointers including a huge shotclock-beating stepback trey that helped push San Beda back in front, 81-69.
Art de la Cruz scored 23 points, Amer finished with 14 and added 12 for the Lions.
USC, which fell to 2-1, was paced by the 20 markers of Tagapan and the 15 of Victor Rabat. Cameroonian import Shooster Olago had a foul-plagued outing and finished with just 10.
San Beda (85) – De la Cruz 23, Amer 14, Adeogun 12, Sara 11, Mendoza 5, Soberano 5, Tongco 4, Sorela 3, Presbitero 2, Tankou 2, Cabanag 1.
USC (75) - Tagapan 20, Rabat 15, Toyambi 12, Olago 10, Magat 8, Arjon 7, Igna 2, Pepito 1.
Quarterscores: 24-17; 45-31; 63-53; 85-75.