San Beda holds off Mapua, sends NCAA Finals to Game 3

Jacob Cortez unleashed his inner King Lion again. NCAA
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—San Beda recovered from a lethargic third quarter to clamp down Mapua, 71-65, in Game 2 of the NCAA men's basketball finals in front of 22,465 fans at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Already on the verge of blowing out the Cardinals by halftime after racing to a 42-30 lead, the Red Lions suddenly fell flat in the third quarter as the Cardinals outscored them, 23-6, to take a 53-48 lead entering the fourth.

Mapua was still up, 61-56, with 6:46 left in the fourth, but San Beda responded with an 11-0 run to take a 67-61 advantage with 3:11 remaining.

JC Recto finally stopped the bleeding for the Cardinals with a one-hander, but Yukien Andrada buried a booming three with 2:21 left for a 70-63 Red Lions lead.

Recto hit an elbow jumper to keep Mapua in the game, but they could not capitalize on San Beda's late missed free throws and finished the last 2:10 of the game scoreless.

Cortez had 21 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals to lead the Red Lions, who tied the best-of-three finals at one game apiece.

Andrada and Jomel Puno each added nine markers.

Clint Escamis, who was formally given the season MVP award, led the Cardinals with 15 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, but he was held to 4-of-21 shooting including 2-of-13 from long range.

JC Recto put up 14 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, and one block.

Game 3 is set next Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Box Scores:

SAN BEDA 71- Cortez 21, Puno 9, Andrada 9, Jopia 8, Alfaro 7, Royo 6, Cuntapay 5, Payosing 4, Tagle 2, Gonzales 0, Visser 0

MAPUA 65- Escamis 15, Recto 14, Hernandez 13, Soriano 10, Cuenco 5, Rosillo 5, Bonifacio 3, Asuncion 0, Dalisay 0, Bancale 0

QUARTERSCORES: 20-19, 42-30, 48-53, 71-65

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