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Tiebreaker Times


Teddy Alamarez’s heartbreak in ’91 inspires San Beda in Game 2

Thirty-two years ago, Mapua University secured the NCAA Seniors Basketball Tournament crown through a crucial mistake made by San Beda University.

In Game 3 of the NCAA Season 67 finals, with San Beda leading by a single point, Mapua’s Rizaldy Ramos attempted a game-winning shot that fell short against the rim, seemingly sealing the championship for the Red Lions.

However, San Beda failed to play until the final buzzer.

As the shot jammed against the rim, the ball found its way to Mapua’s Benny Cheng, who faced no boxout as his defender Teddy Alamarez failed to keep him in check.

Cheng sank the putback game-winner, giving Mapua the NCAA championship.

Three decades later, as San Beda faced elimination once again at the hands of Mapua, Alamarez shared his heartbreaking story with the current iteration of the Red Lions in the hope of preventing history from repeating itself.

Alamarez, along with former Red Cub Benjie Paras, made an appearance at San Beda’s practice before their Game 2 championship game to offer words of encouragement to the young Red Lions.NCAA-99-Finals-SBU-vs.-MU-Jacob-Cortez-11 Teddy Alamarez's heartbreak in '91 inspires San Beda in Game 2 Basketball NCAA News SBC  - philippine sports news

“He was the guy that missed the boxout on Benny Cheng in 1991, the offensive rebound by Benny Cheng.

“He narrated that experience. Probably it’s just being able to say that opportunities like this only come once,” explained head coach Yuri Escueta.

Alamarez shared how that one crucial mistake against Mapua continued to haunt him throughout the years, emphasizing to the Red Lions the importance of ensuring they end the series without any regrets.

“Even now, after 21, 22 years, he still thinks about it.

“He just told our players to fight until the end and not let opportunities slip, which really encouraged and inspired everyone, not just the players but even the coaches. Imagine, he’s still thinking about that until now,” continued Escueta.

#ReadMore  NCAA 99: Jacob Cortez keeps San Beda alive, disarms Lyceum

NCAA-99-Finals-SBU-vs.-MU-James-Payosing-2 Teddy Alamarez's heartbreak in '91 inspires San Beda in Game 2 Basketball NCAA News SBC  - philippine sports newsAlamarez’s and Paras’s talk seemed to make its mark on San Beda, as Escueta’s squad showed up to Game 2 against Mapua with renewed intensity, resulting in a 71-65 victory and forcing a do-or-die Game 3.

With the storied history of Mapua-San Beda Game 3’s embedded in their minds, the Red Lions hope to rewrite history on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

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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