Red Cubs roar to historic sweep, five-peat
By Joey Villar Updated Thursday November 14, 2013 - 4:26pm

The San Beda Red Cubs pose after winning their fifth straight and 21st overall NCAA juniors basketball championship at the Mall of Asia Arena Thursday afternooon. Cris Cayanan

MANILA, Philippines - San Beda weathered a big fourth quarter storm as it downed La Salle-Greenhills, 65-59, and complete a historic sweep of the 89th NCAA junior basketball tournament at the MOA Arena in San Juan City Wednesday.

Former national youth team mainstays Ranbill Tongco, Joshua Caracut, Arvin Tolentino and Rev Diputado delivered the telling blows by firing 17, 14, 12 and 10 points, respectively, as the Cubs booked their first five-peat feat and a league-high 21st title.

The Mendiola-based school also became the first team to sweep its way to the crown since San Sebastian, then led by Ryan Buenafe and Arvie Bringas, also completed a title-sweep five years back.

"It's really a nice feeling helping the school win a championship," said San Beda coach JB Sison, who took over from Brit Reroma last summer.

Tolentino, who had a team-high 21 points in a 71-68 Game One victory last Monday, ended up being named the Finals MVP that the 18-year-old Angono, Rizal native considers an added blessing.

"I just want to help the school win a championship, this finals MVP is just a bonus," said Tolentino, who is being recruited by US NCAA Division I schools Duke and Rhode Islands as well as Ateneo, La Salle, National U and San Beda.

The Cubs led by as much as 20 points twice, the last at 30-10 early in the second canto and appeared headed to cruising the rest of the way.

But San Beda fell in a stupor and relaxed too much, allowing the Greenies to claw their way back to within four points the last minute.

Prince Rivero, the reigning league MVP, had another monster effort of 15 points and 18 rebounds after 34-point, 24-rebound performance in the opener.

Rivero, former teammates of Tolentino, Diputado, Tongco and Caracut at Energen Pilipinas and part of the Phl team that represented the country in the World Under-18 3x3 championship in Jakarta, Indonesia, however, missed some key shots in the stretch that hastened their doom.

San Beda's dynastic reign may also end this year as it will bid goodbye to 10 seniors after this school year.

"We will have only five players left next year including Caracut so we're back from scratch," said Sison.

The Scores (juniors):

San Beda (65) - Tongco 17, Caracut 14, Tolentino 12, Diputado 10, Mocon 4, Abude 3, Decapia 2, Gumtang 2, Abuda 1, Abatayo 0.

CSB-LSGH (59) - Barrera 17, Rivero 15, Paras 11, Dela Cruz 6, Abadeza 5, Ramilo 3, Lanot 2, San Juan 0.

Quarters: 24-8, 39-28, 51-46, 65-59.

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SENIOR DIVISION
TEAMS WIN LOSS
SBC Red Lions 15 3
Letran Knights 14 4
SSC-R Stags 12 7
UPHSD Altas 11 8
EAC Generals 10 8
LPU PirateS 8 10
AU Chiefs 8 10
JRU Bombers 6 12
CSB Blazers 5 13
MIT Cardinals 2 16

 

SENIOR DIVISION
Monday, Nov 11, 2013 @ MOA Arena
2:30 pm - Game 1
VS
Nov 14, 2:30 PM - Game 2
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