San Beda is National Collegiate Athletic Association champ again

November 12, 2018

NOT even the return of CJ Perez could stop San Beda from annexing another NCAA men's basketball championship.

The Red Lions completed their Finals domination of Lyceum of the Philippines University, 71-56, to claim their third straight title last night before 13,111 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena.

San Beda won the best-of-three series which it never trailed, 2-0, for a record 22nd crown.

It also cemented the Lions' enduring dynasty in the league, ruling for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons.

The Pirates hope to turn things around and force a Game 3 with the return of Perez from one-game suspension.

But San Beda has other things in mind in the first 20 minutes of play, as Finals MVP Javee Mocon imposed his will in the middle while point guard Robert Bolick, playing selfless basketball, displayed tremendous passing which bogged down LPU's defense, dishing out nine assists in the first half alone.

The Pirates closed within four several times in the second half, but the Lions were successful in bringing the lead back to double digits.

With the result already in the bag for San Beda, coach Topex Robinson and the rest of the LPU team approached his counterpart Boyet Fernandez with still 40 seconds to go for another successful season.

“Masaya ako at least nakuha namin yung championship. At least napalitan yung pagod at puyat at sakripisyo ng mga players ko sa practices for all those preparations for this season," said Fernandez, who is now 4-of-4 in the Finals for Lions.

In their final game for San Beda, Mocon had a double-double effort of 16 points and 11 rebounds to go with five blocks and two assists while Bolick, a cinch to be in the first round in next month's PBA rookie draft. had 12 dimes.

Clint Doliguez had 14 points, while Cameroon's Donald Tankoua contributed 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Lions.

San Beda ended the season with 14 straight victories - and 20-1 overall - the lone loss came from LPU late in the first round.

Perez, last season's MVP, tallied 19 points, six boards and four assists, Jaycee Marcelino had 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals,  while Cameroon's Mike Nzeusseu had 11 points and 13 boards for LPU.

For the second straight year, the Pirates ended up bridesmaids and will try again next season to finally break through with the championship.

Players come and go, but San Beda has a successful recipe to a successful program.

“It's really the product of recruitment. It's not only a product of my coaching,” said Fernandez.

“Tomorrow we will wake up again and look for the championship.”

The scores:

SBU (71) -- Mocon 16, Doliguez 14, Tankoua 13, Kwekuteye 9, Soberano 8, Oftana 5, Bolick 4, Presbitero 2, Abuda 0, Cabanag 0.

LPU (56) -- Perez 19, JC. Marcelino 13, Nzeusseu 11, Pretta 5, Ayaay 4, Caduyac 2, Serrano 2, Yong 0.

Quarterscores: 23-15, 39-33, 49-44, 71-56