San Beda reasserted its mastery of College of Saint Benilde, 63-57, to secure a 15th consecutive Final Four appearance in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre Sunday.
The Red Lions quelled the Blazers’ last-ditch rally in the payoff period to claim the no. 3 semifinals ranking.
Up next for San Beda is a Final Four date with twice-to-beat Mapua on Sunday. By virtue of their 68-54 elimination-round conquest of the Lions, the Cardinals booked the outright Final Four slot as the No. 2 team.
James Kwekuteye scored 17 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, to go with four rebounds to lead San Beda. The Fil-Canadian guard, however, left in the final 1:31 due to left ankle injury.
Yukien Andrada also shone for the Lions with 11 points, including three triples, and four boards.
San Beda was ahead, 57-43, when CSB made a 12-3 run capped by a Will Gozum putback to cut the deficit to 55-60, with 17.8 seconds.
The Blazers, however, ran out of time, as the Lions sealed the victory after Ralph Penuela went 3-of-4 from the stripe in the final 16.3 seconds.
CSB, which last made it to the Final Four in 2002, will face either University of Perpetual Help System Dalta or Arellano University for the remaining berth on Wednesday. The survivor will face defending champion Letran, which has the twice-to-beat bonus for finishing No. 1 in the short eliminations.
Robi Nayve went 1-of-8 from the field to finish with 10 points for the Blazers while Joshua Marcos addrd nine points and eight boards. Will Gozum could only muster 4-of-19 shooting for a eight-point outing and grabbed 11 rebounds.