Arellano, San Beda nail NCAA juniors Final Four berths after blowouts

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Arellano and San Beda clinched the first two spots in the NCAA juniors basketball semifinals after soundly downing their respective foes with a help from another team on Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Braves drubbed the Letran Squires, 107-77, while the Red Cubs trampled the Perpetual Help Altalettes, 93-81.

Guilmer Dela Torre exploded for 30 points on six triples as Arellano sent Letran closer to elimination.

On the other hand, Germy Mahinay led San Beda's balanced offense highlighted by 27 assists with 12 points as all but one Red Cub scored in the victory against the also-ran Perpetual Help, whose 24-point, seven-rebound, and six-assist performance from Jielo Razon went for naught.

Both the Braves and the Red Cubs stay on top of the standings with identical 12-1 records.

In the marquee match-up, Malayan survived a gallant stand from Lyceum for a 77-74 win to boost its own Final Four bid.

Jasper Salenga had a near double-double of 19 points and nine rebounds for the Red Robins, who remain a game behind both the Braves and the Red Cubs at 11-2.

McLaude Gaudana had his own near double-double with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Junior Pirates, whose own quest for a semifinal seat suffered a huge blow while effectively handing the Braves and the Red Cubs Final Four berths.

La Salle-Greenhills also bettered its chance of making the next round with a 61-51 victory over San Sebastian, while ICA scored its first win of the season with a 65-58 nightcap victory against JRU in a battle of eliminated squads.

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