JB Bahio pushed San Beda University into a cardiac 61-60 win against San Sebastian College-Recoletos for their fourth straight win in NCAA Season 97 seniors basketball tournament, Friday at La Salle Green Hills’ St. Benilde Gym in Mandaluyong City.
In the game’s final play, Bahio found himself unexpectedly all alone inside to get that put back in off a Ralph Penuela miss to that go-ahead basket with just 0.4 seconds left.
The Red Lions co-captain ended with four points and seven rebounds, including that game-winning board and basket. He also added two assists, three steals, and two blocks.
Down two, James Canlas pushed San Beda into the lead at 59-58, 25 seconds left in the game with a triple over the outstretched arms of Kenn Villapando.
The Stags then had the golden opportunity to snatch the game off the Red Lions’ feet after Rommel Calahat got one inside off a baseline drive with 8.2 seconds remaining.
In a surprising move, the Red Lions did not call a timeout to draw up a play.
“I’ll take this game as a win,” San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez said. “A win is a win but I hope this will be a character-building for our team. I’ll take the blame for not calling a timeout in the last eight seconds.”
Fortunately, for the red shirts, they got another opportunity to take the win.
The Stags needed another stop but Calahat instead caught Canlas’ arms in the following play with the shot clock still at 6.8 seconds. While the play was under review, Fernandez took advantage and drew up another play.
And fortunately for the Red Lions, Bahio was at the right place and at the right time for the finish in the broken play.
Fernandez said, “I’m happy the way my players stepped up in the fourth quarter, they really executed our set plays. I’m happy that JB Bahio made those follow-up shots. We really did execute well in the fourth quarter, especially in the last few seconds of the game. But again, I’ll not take away this game from San Sebastian.”
Canlas closed the game with 11 points despite a 4-of-13 shooting clip, adding three rebounds, two assists, and three steals. Peter Alfaro kept San Beda in the game, scoring all his 10 points in the third quarter, to go with two rebounds and one steal, while Cliff Jopia had a good debut with four markers and six boards.
JM Calma and Calahat took charge of San Sebastian in the losing effort. Calma finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two blocks, while Calahat ended with 10 markers, six boards, and two assists.
The Stags lost top-scorer Ichie Altamirano 32.4 seconds left in the first half with a disqualifying foul on an altercation with Canlas.
The Red Lions roared to 4-0, tying archrivals Colegio de San Juan de Letran at the top of the team standings. The Stags, on their part, went down to 1-3, for a share of the sixth to the ninth spot.
San Beda will go for its fifth straight win when they take on Arellano University (1-3) on April 17 at 12 NN. Meanwhile, San Sebastian will face Lyceum of the Philippines University (1-3) on April 10 at 3 p.m.
San Beda 61 – Canlas 11, Alfaro 10, Abuda 8, Gallego 6, Andrada 5, Bahio 4, Amsali 4, Jopia 4, Viser 4, Villejo 3, Penuela 2, Sanchez 0, Cuntapay 0, Ynot 0.
San Sebastian 60 – Calma 12, Calahat 10, Sumoda 8, Are 7, Villapando 6, Una 6, Dela Cruz 3, Altamirano 3, Shanoda 3, Felebrico 2, Desoyo 0, Loristo 0, Cosari 0.
Quarterscores: 12-15, 36-30, 45-45, 61-60.