SAN Beda claimed the top spot in NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball Final Four after defeating Letran, 83-78, on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ola Adeogun led the way for the Red Lions, converting crucial baskets late in the game to foil the Knights’ comeback attempts as San Beda took the No. 1 seed in the semifinals for the 10th straight season.
The Red Lions will have a twice-to-beat advantage when it takes on the loser of the Jose Rizal University-Mapua playoff match for the No. 3 seeding on Thursday.
Adeogun finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, with 11 points coming in the fourth period including a layup that broke a tie at 78 with 17.2 seconds to play.
The Nigerian reinforcement also scored on a follow-up off a Baser Amer miss from the foul line with four seconds to play for the final score.
San Beda coach Jamike Jarin said the team is now focuses on the bid for a sixth straight crown.
“I’m happy with how we perform. But that doesn’t matter anymore. Now, it’s the games that you need to win,” said Jarin.
San Beda lost a 74-63 lead, with Jomari Sollano tying the game with a three-point play with 35 seconds to play.
The Red Lions executed a fine play that led to Ryusei Koga finding Adeogun for the go-ahead basket.
Javee Mocon had 14 of his 16 points in the first half for San Beda, which took a 41-30 lead at the break. Dan Sara and Art de la Cruz had 12 points each for the Red Lions.
Mark Cruz had 29 points, while Kevin Racal chipped in 17 points for the Knights, who will face the winner of the JRU-Mapua playoff.
San Beda (83) — Adeogun 21, Mocon 16, Sara 12, Dela Cruz 12, Tankoua 10, Soberano 4, Koga 3, Amer 3, Cabanag 2, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0, Presbitero 0, Tongco 0, Sorela 0, Sedillo 0.
Letran (78) — Cruz 29, Racal 17, Sollano 9, Quinto 9, Nambatac 8, Balanza 2, Calvo 2, Luib 2, Apreku 0, Publico 0.
Quarterscores: 17-12; 41-30; 59-48; 83-78.