SAN Beda held on to repulse Arellano, 88-85, in Game One of the NCAA Season 92 basketball tournament finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Thursday.
Robert Bolick played the hero role and scored 24 points, none bigger than the final four points to seal the win for the Red Lions. He also added 10 rebounds to his tally as San Beda moved a win away from clinching its ninth title in 11 years.
Ben Adamos had 16 points and seven rebounds, while Arnaud Noah added 14 for the Red Lions, who will try finish off Arellano in Game Two on Tuesday at the same venue.
"It's gonna be our hardest game, our hardest win," said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin.
Lervin Flores scored in the shaded lane as the Chiefs, playing catch-up from the get-go, gained an 85-84 lead with 2:11 left.
Bolick then took charge, making a fatbreak layup off a Dan Sara pass to regain the lead before putting the finishing touches with a pair of free throws with 3.7 ticks left.
Jio Jalalon had the chance to tie the game but his three-pointer from way beyond the arc was off.
Jalalon struggled with his shot but still finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Kent Salado added 19 points, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals for the Chiefs.
SAN BEDA 88 – Bolick 24, Adamos 16, Noah 14, Potts 11, Sara 6, Mocon 6, Presbitero 6, Soberano 3, Oftana 2, Tongco 0
ARELLANO 85 – Jalalon 21, Salado 19, Gumaru 10, Holts 8, Meca 7, Nicholls 5, Villoria 5, Flores 4, Cadavis 4, Aguilar 2, Enriquez 0, Canete 0
Quarterscores: 28-20, 54-49, 70-69, 88-86