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NCAA 99: San Beda finds form, continues to torture EAC to tie CSB at third


After suffering back-to-back upset losses against Arellano University and San Sebastian College-Recoletos, San Beda University returned to form with an 81-71 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College in the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Sunday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.

The Red Lions continued to be an unfavorable matchup for the Generals due to their overwhelming size advantage, as San Beda earned its 27th straight win over EAC spanning 13 years.

Head coach Yuri Escueta explained that their two losses in the past week helped his Red Lions squad learn from their mistakes and come back more focused against the Generals.

“Of course, we took it as a challenge. I just told our players that adversity is part of everything, whether it’s in basketball, the NCAA, or their studies. But the important thing is how you handle it, how resilient you are after tough losses. That’s what’s going to develop your character. So, this is a good win for us,” shared Escueta.

One of the bigger beneficiaries of San Beda’s two losses was its backup rookie point guard, Aaron Royo, who scored seven of his 13 points in the first quarter to help give San Beda an early 22-9 advantage.

The lead ballooned to as much as 17 points, 32-15, after a three-pointer from Jacob Cortez with 4:55 left in the second quarter.

From that point on, it was only a matter of maintaining the advantage for the Red Lions as they refused to let the Generals make any ground against their lead, fending them off until the final buzzer sounded.NCAA-99-SBU-vs.-EAC-Jomel-Puno NCAA 99: San Beda finds form, continues to torture EAC to tie CSB at third Basketball EAC NCAA News SBC  - philippine sports news

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“Lahat ng games ngayon crucial eh sabi ko nga, this is a good win for us,” said Escueta after the win. “We, coming into the game as a team, we just said we’re gonna take it one game at a time for the next seven games. Lahat ng hard work at sacrifice we have to give it our all.

“Sabi nga ng isang player ko all in daw all in, for the next seven games all in kami. Big win but the next step is perpetual again on Friday. Lahat ng games ngayon importante,” the second year head coach continued.

Royo had four rebounds, one assist, and two steals to go along with his thirteen points as he commanded the San Beda bench. The man ahead of him in the starting five, Jacob Cortez, finished with 15 points, while James Payosing finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.

Clifford Jopia and Jomel Puno continued their excellent second half of the season as Jopia finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks, while Puno had an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double.NCAA-99-SBU-vs.-EAC-Yukien-Andrada NCAA 99: San Beda finds form, continues to torture EAC to tie CSB at third Basketball EAC NCAA News SBC  - philippine sports news

Yukien Andrada returned to the San Beda lineup after a two-game absence due to a strained hamstring, but the rust was evident for the wingman. Andrada finished with just three points on 1/9 shooting, but he contributed with eight rebounds, one assist, two steals, and a block to make up for his inefficiencies.

The Red Lions settled at 8-4 for the season, tied with College of Saint Benilde for the third spot in the standings. They look ahead to a matchup against the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas next on Friday at 4:00 p.m.

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Cosejo led all scorers with 18 points and eight rebounds but committed five turnovers in the process. Ralph Robin added 14 points, while King Gurtiza and JP Maguliano ended with 10 points apiece.

The Generals were dealt a tough blow to their final four chances as they fell to 7-6 for the season, falling behind in the final four race at sixth in the standings.

They have a match against another top contender in the Mapua Cardinalsnext on their schedule on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

The Scores:

SBU 81- Cortez 15, Payosing 14, Jopia 13, Royo 13, Puno 11, Tagle 6, Visser 6, Andrada 3, Alfaro 0, Cuntapay 0, Gonzales 0

EAC 71 – Cosejo 18, Robin 14, Gurtiza 10, Maguliano 10, Quinal 5, Ochavo 4, Tolentino 3, Luciano 2, Loristo 2, Umpad 2, Angeles 1, Bacud 0

Quarterscores: 22-9, 37-28, 57-47, 81-71.

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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