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NCAA 99: Jacob Cortez’s late heroics falls short as San Sebastian shocks San Beda


Jacob Cortez and his fourth-quarter rally were not enough to carry San Beda University, as the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags handed the Red Lions their second upset loss in back-to-back games, with a 75-67 defeat in the NCAA Season 99 Senior Basketball Tournament on Sunday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.

With Cortez launching an offensive flurry in the fourth quarter, Reggz Gabat’s impressive second-half performance gifted Baste enough of a boost to withstand the attack.

Gabat scored 11 of his 18 points in the second half, with eight of those coming in the third quarter, where San Sebastian’s streaky wing shooter torched the nets. His offensive display helped the Stags lead by as much as 11 in the third quarter, with the score at 58-47 after his layup at the 1:13 mark.

“Sa apat na game namin na puro talo, maganda yung start namin tapos bad start tapos lagi kami sa dulo humahabol kami pero nashoshort kami,” Gabat said. “So sabi lang ni Coach (John Kallos), nagkukulang kami sa enjoyment pagdating sa laro kasi pagdating sa mga last ng part ng game, bumibitaw talaga, nawawala yung composure, nagmamadali kami. So yun lang, sabi ni coach, enjoy lang namin yung game, may pag-asa pa kami basta tatapusin namin ng maganda yung season.”

Baste maintained a lead of up to 10 points in the final frame, and all the Stags needed to do was maintain their advantage and prevent San Beda from gaining any momentum.

However, Cortez had other plans.

Cortez was personally responsible for all 16 of San Beda’s points in the final quarter, scoring 10 points and providing two assists to Oliver Tagle for his two triples.

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Cortez reduced Baste’s lead to as low as three points, 70-67, with a triple at the 4:07 mark, but those three points turned out to be San Beda’s final field goal of the game.

The Stags proceeded to clamp down on the Red Lions on defense, and Rafael Are sealed the victory at the charity stripe.

The Stags put an end to a four-game losing streak while also keeping their Final Four hopes alive as they venture further into the second round.

Additionally, an even more significant streak was broken with Sunday’s victory, as Baste ended an 11-game losing streak to their rivals San Beda, dating back to 2017.

In addition to Gabat’s 18 points, Romel Calahat played a crucial role for Baste with his 16 points and seven boards.

Are finished with 14 points, seven of which came in the final quarter as he diffused Cortez’s rally, while Tristan Felebrico contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.

The Stags inched up in the Final Four race as they improved to 4-8 for the season. Their next match is against one of the top teams in the league, Mapua University, scheduled for Sunday at 2:40 p.m.

For San Beda, only two players reached double-digits, with Jomel Puno scoring 16 points and grabbing nine boards, while Cortez ended with 15 points and five assists.

The Red Lions, on the other hand, put themselves in danger of falling out of the top four after being just one game away from the top seed, as they dropped to 7-4 for the season.

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They hope to regain their winning form against Emilio Aguinaldo College on Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

The Scores:

San Sebastian 75 – Re. Gabat 18, Calahat 16, Are 14, Felebrico 12, Desoyo 7, Escobido 3, Sumoda 2, De Leon 2, Una 1, Shanoda 0, Castor 0.

San Beda 67- Puno 16, Cortez 15, Tagle 9, Payosing 7, Gonzales 6, Jopia 6, Cuntapay 5, Alfaro 3, Llanera 0, Visser 0, Gallego 0

Quarterscores: 13-13, 36-28, 60-61, 75-67

Written By

Vito Martin is a sportswriter from the Philippines. In 2023, he graduated from the Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in BS Psychology. He wrote for Ateneo’s official school publication The GUIDON, where he covered basketball, football, baseball, badminton, and other collegiate sports. He is a life-long fan of the Boston Celtics and an avid follower of the NBA


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