SAN Beda survived Perpetual Help's late counter attack, 60-53, in the 88th NCAA men's basketball Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lions exacted revenge on the Altas, who won their first-round encounter, 88-87.
From a 22-41 hole at the start of the third, the Altas regrouped in the last quarter, played tough defense to silence the Red Lions in a five-minute stretch.
Perpetual Help trimmed down the lead to six, 47-53, as George Allen, Jett Vidal and Chris Elopre fired nine straight points with 5:02 on the clock.
"They played good defense," said SBC coach Ronnie Magsanoc. "They had a good job containing Baser (Amer) and Anjo (Caram)."
Allen made four consecutive points to help the Altas inch closer, 51-55, but Caram answered with a booming tree-point basket to stretch the lead to seven, 58-51, with 1:59 left.
"Allen started connecting, but in the end it all boiled down to stops. Anjo and Baser made their baskets," added Magsanoc. "As long as Baser and Anjo are on our backcourt, we have a solid team."
The Lions are ahead in the race to the semifinals with a 15-2 win-loss card and Magsanoc is hoping to maximize the coming days of preparation.
"Every game is a good preparation for the playoffs, para sa Final Four ready ang mga bata," said the Red Lions mentor. "We have to prepare our mental toughness. Yung physical, we'll work on it. Because it has to be combined."
Ola Adeogun made 12 points and eight rebounds for SBC, while Caram finished with 10 markers, including two triples.
Amer, who turned 20 on Saturday, chipped in seven points and dished out six assists.
Vidal came up with 20 points for the Altas, who now hold a 10-7 record.
San Beda (60) - Adeogun 12, Caram 10, Pascual, K. 8, Pascual, J. 7, Amer 7, Dela Rosa 5, Dela Cruz 4, Lim 3, Villaruz 2, Ludovice 2, Koga 0.
Perpetula Help 53: Vidal 20, Allen 11, Babayemi 7, Elopre 4, Thompson 4, Omorogbe 4, Arboleda 3, Alano 0, Paulino 0, Jolangcob 0.
Quarterscores: 20-14; 39-22; 50-37; 60-53.