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Red Lions a win away from five-peat after beating Chiefs

By Dugout Philippines

San Beda held on after a late Arellano run and booked a 74-66 win in Game 1 of the NCAA men's basketball finals at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Red Lions opened the game with 11 unanswered and led, 24-11, late in the first quarter.

But the Chiefs ended the period on a 6-2 run to cut the lead to nine, 26-17.

The Arellano run continued, and the team eventually tied the game, 31-all, in the second quarter.

But San Beda ended the quarter on a 9-0 run to reclaim the lead, 40-31, at the half.

The Red Lions, despite a mini Chiefs run to start the third frame, maintained the lead and even increased it slightly to 11, 59-48, entering the fourth.

After an exchange of baskets to start the payoff period, the Chiefs scored six straight points off the fastbreak to come to within five, 56-61.

But San Beda regained control of the game after igniting the game-turning 11-3 run capped by a Baser Amer triple to ice the game.

Amer had 17 points, seven assists, and five rebounds, while Ola Adeogun added 14 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks for the Red Lions, who are now a win away from winning their fifth straight NCAA title.

Keith Agovida led Finals first-timers Chiefs with 14 points and 17 rebounds, but he only made four of 11 free throws as they struggled from the stripe overall the entire game, especially in the final canto.

Box Scores:

San Beda 74-Amer 17, A. Semerad 14, Adeogon 14, De La Cruz 13, Pascual 7, Sara 5, Mendoza 3, Koga 2, Mendoza 2, Cabanag 0, Mocon 0, D. Semerad 0, Tongco 0.

Arellano 66-Agovida 14, Holts 11, Jalalon 9, Bangga 9, Pinto 6, Gumaru 5, Salcedo 4, Ciriacruz 4, Nicholls 2, Enriquez 2, Hernandez 0, Palma 0, Caperal 0, Cadavis 0.

Quarterscores: 26-17, 40-31, 59-48, 74-66