Jharmaine Lecciones came alive in the clutch, helping deal La Salle Green Hills an 83-77 come-from-behind defeat and give San Beda – Taytay the second twice-to-beat advantage in the NCAA Season 98 Juniors Basketball Tournament on Thursday at San Andres Complex in Manila.
Lecciones scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and laced five rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Because of the efforts of the young guard, the Red Cubs will now be armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in their final face-off against the Greenies which begins on Monday.
It had been a long climb for San Beda as it needed to oust San Sebastian in a knockout match for the last playoff spot before dropping Mapua University for the right to face LSGH.
“Puso yung nagdala sa amin dito, puso yung nagpapanalo samin,” said first year Red Cubs head coach Miko Roldan.
This time around, they needed to dig deep once more.
After a nip-and-tuck affair, Lecciones was the catalyst in the Red Cubs breakaway after his back-to-back baskets right gave the red side a 73-60 lead midway through the final frame.
As expected, the loaded Greenies gave a fightback.
The duo of Seven Gagate and James Ison, slowly chopped into the lead, eventually cutting it to 77-74 after an Ison and-one with 1:30 left.
Chris Hubilla and Lecciones though did not allow a meltdown to happen.
After a Christian Mesias miss from deep, Lecciones converted on two free throws to give San Beda a two-possession lead with 23 seconds left. Hubilla then sealed the game with a fastbreak layup off of a Gian Gomez turnover.
Hubilla tallied 15 points, 19 rebounds, four assists and four steals, while John Lopez added 16 markers and seven boards.
Greenies twin towers both finished with double-doubles with Seven Gagate finishing with 21 points, 16 rebounds, four assist, and a block, while Manuel Pablo contributed 14 markers, 16 boards, three dimes, a block and a steal.
In the other bracket, top seeded Letran High School will face the Red Robins.
San Beda (83) — Lecciones 25, Lopez 16, Hubilla 15, Wagan 9, Dungo 6, Ludovice 5, Lorenzo 4, Ronquillo 2, Mundas 1, Reyes 0.
LSGH (77) — Gagate 21, Pablo 14, Ison 12, Mesias 9, Gomez 8, Alian 8, S. Romero 5, R. Romero 0, Muyuela 0, Zaragosa 0
Quarterscores: 16-15, 38-42, 60-58, 83-77.