Chris Hubilla made sure that nothing would spoil his 20th birthday.
Hubilla towed San Beda-Taytay to an 86-75 conquest of Mapua University to climb the stepladder of the NCAA Season 98 Juniors Basketball playoffs, Monday at San Andres Sports Complex.
The native of Albay finished with a game-high 22 points with nine rebounds, four steals, and two assists, leading the Red Cubs to a clash with La Salle Green Hills for the twice-to-beat advantage.
The Red Cubs-Greenies game will take place on Thursday at the same Manila venue.
According to Red Cubs head coach Miko Roldan, he is enthusiastic about facing the Greenies again after their 84-87 defeat on February 10. However, Roldan mentioned that his team is now more composed and transformed, making them a different San Beda team than before.
“Yun nga we’re looking at it as best of three against La Salle. We’re excited to play them again kasi obviously gusto namin ibawi ‘yung pagkatalo namin sa kanila leading mga as much as 19 points, and then I think losing at the end,” said Roldan.
“I think we’re a different team; we’ree’re a better team now. We’re more composed, so I’m excited to play La Salle again for the number two spot,” he added.
At the beginning of the third quarter, the Red Cubs and the Red Robins were tied at 34 points each. The Red Cubs then sparked a 10-2 run, which was completed by a two-point jumper from Hubilla at the 7:39 mark.
After that, San Beda dominated the second half of the game with an impressive 20-of-31 shooting performance. Meanwhile, the Red Robins struggled with only 15-of-41 shooting from the field, including 3-of-15 in the third quarter and 12-of-26 in the fourth quarter.
The Red Cubs’ lead reached its largest point at 22 points after John Lopez scored a basket with 5:51 remaining in the game. Although the Red Robins were able to reduce the deficit to nine points, 75-84, with only 45 seconds left in the game off a Nicolo Mulintapang layup, they were not able to get any closer than that.
The Red Robins will enter the Final Four as the fourth seed and will face Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
Andrei Dungo’s impressive performance included 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two blocks, two steals, and a plus-11 in the plus and minus category. Meanwhile, Lopez contributed 11 points, two assists, and a steal, and Nino Mundas added 10 rebounds, nine points, and three blocks to San Beda’s efforts.
Meanwhile, Mapua’s Nygel Gonzales and Paolo Morenos led their team with 12 points each. Gonzales struggled with a 4-of-11 shooting clip but managed to contribute five rebounds and five assists to the game. Lance Masiglat also made a significant contribution to the Red Robins with 10 points, eight rebounds, and two assists.
The Red Robins, meanwhile, will enter the Final Four as the fourth seed.
Mapua defeated San Beda in their elimination round encounter last February 8, 76-62.
San Beda (86) – Hubilla 22, Dungo 16, Lopez 11, Mundas 9, Reyes 8, Lorenzo 8, Ludovice 5, Lecciones 4, Ronquillo 3, Wagan 0.
Mapua (75) — Gonzales 12, Morenos 12, Masiglat 10, Mulingtapang 8, Valiña 7, Go 7, Salvador 6, Manuel 5, Agemenyi 4, Rodriguez 2, Santos 2, Coronel 0.
Quarterscores: 16-13, 34-34, 59-45, 86-75