THE San Sebastian Staglets made heads turn last Thursday when they posted a 52-51 upset over the San Beda Red Cubs who suffered a loss to the Staglets for the first time in 11 years.
The Staglets seemed headed for a lopsided win but squandered a 12-point edge they earned in the last 5:30.
The Red Cubs came within a point after a charity from Joshua Lazaro with 1:16 left.
Later, Lazaro drove in to attempt a layup at the buzzer but SSC’s Joshua Perez tapped the ball away from his hands. In the scramble for the loose ball, time ran out on the Red Cubs.
The victory put the Staglets within range of a Final Four seat in the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball tournament at the FilOil-Flying V Sports Center in San Juan.
Not since the time of Ryan Buenafe in 2007 had the Staglets tasted a win over the Red Cubs.
In this game, Milo Janao hit 13 points for the Staglets, who finished the first round with a 4-5 slate.
The Red Cubs, with Zach Estacio making 13, have a 3-3 card.
“Ngayon lang kami ulit nanalo sa San Beda since nagsimula akong mag-coach. Buti, nagstep-up ang mga bata,” said Staglets coach Melo Banua.
The 17-year-old Perez replaced a fouled out Miguel Bonalos in the closing minutes of the game.
“Pinalitan ko si Bonalos nung nag-foul out siya. Sabi ni coach, maging aggressive kami sa defense,” said Perez.
At the end of their first round games, two members of the Staglets emerged as dominant players of the league.
Milo Janao averages 19.8 points per game. There’s Kean Baclaan with 15.7 points per game.
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