San Beda a win away from twice-to-beat; LSGH, Malayan complicate race for other Final Four bonus

By Dugout Philippines

SAN JUAN, MM--San Beda moved to within a win from securing a twice-to-beat advantage come the Final Four of the NCAA juniors' basketball tournament after subduing ICA, 86-79, on Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Joshua Tagala flirted with a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds with one assist and two steals for the Red Cubs, who recovered from a blitzing start by the also-ran Brigadiers and turned things around in the second half for their 15th win against a single loss.

San Beda is now assured of at least a playoff for the semifinal incentive and can formally secure the said Top 2 finish as soon as Friday with a win against La Salle-Greenhills at the said venue.

The Greenies, on the other hand, made the race for the other twice-to-beat spot more interesting with a 77-70 victory over the Arellano Braves.

Troy Mallinllin tallied 20 points and 18 rebounds for La Salle-Greenhills, which used a 28-point fourth quarter to tie its victim for second place at 13-3.

Guilmer Dela Torre had 27 points, one rebound, three assists, and one steal, while Carlo Abadeza added 18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks for Arellano.

Meanwhile, Malayan stayed in step with both La Salle-Greenhills and Arellano by hacking out an 86-77 victory against Letran.

Jasper Salenga dropped 27 points on 13-of-18 shooting with seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals for the Red Robins, who limited the Squires to only 11 points in the final period to move up to 12-3.

The Braves and the Red Robins collide also on Friday in a do-or-die match-up for both teams in terms of their bid for the twice-to-beat edge.

In the other games, Lyceum trounced San Sebastian, 86-74, while Perpetual Help subdued JRU, 76-72.

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