SAN Beda moved one victory away from the NCAA Season 91 juniors crown after beating Arellano, 76-68, on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Evan Nelle had 16 points while Alberto Bordeous added 12 for the Red Cubs, who pulled away behind their up-tempo game in the third period after a tight 37-36 score at halftime.
The Red Cubs only need to win one game to claim a seventh straight NCAA title with the Braves still needing three to capture the crown.
San Beda took a thrice-to-beat advantage after winning all 18 games in the elimination round.
“’Yung tempo namin, talagang pinush namin. Ganun talaga. We won the whole two rounds of elimination with that, bakit namin babaguhin,” said San Beda coach JB Sison.
San Beda was coming off a three-week rest and Sison said rust didn’t play a role in the game.
“Advantage namin ‘yun. Fresh kami coming into Game One while Arellano played two knockout games. Dapat talaga advantage namin ‘yun,” said Sison.
Guilmer Dela Torre had 22 points, while Carlo Abadeza grabbed 18 rebounds in a losing cause for the Braves.
San Beda (76) — Nelle 16, Bordeus 12, Nayve 9, Lagumen 7, Velasquez 6, Mahinay 6, Alfaro 6, Tagala 5, Dela Rosa 5, Abu Hijle 4, Etrata 0.
Arellano (68) — Dela Torre 22, Sunga 14, Abadeza 10, Tamayo 7, Espiritu 5, Bataller 5, Velasco 3, Danas 2, Calapine 0, Dulatre 0, Fornis 0.
Quarterscores: 18-13, 37-36, 59-52, 76-68.