Lions clamp down on Chiefs, near 19th title
By Joey Villar Updated Monday October 20, 2014 - 7:49pm

Games Wednesday

(MOA Arena)

11 a.m. - Mapua vs San Beda (jrs)

1:30 p.m. - San Beda vs Arellano (srs)

MANILA, Philippines - Defense, not offense, still wins championships.

San Beda suffocated Arellano University with the defense that it was known for and hammered out a 76-44 win to move on the verge of extending its dynastic year to another season in the 90th NCAA basketball finals at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Monday night.

Leaving nothing to chance, the Lions went on a jackrabbit start, slowed down that allowed the Chiefs to tie before unloading another killer run that they kept until the end to seize a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three series.

San Beda goes for the kill in Wednesday's Game Two at the same venue.

A win there will seal the Lions not only a fifth straight championship and eighth in the last nine, but also their 19th crown to underscore their decade-long domination.

A decider, if necessary, is on Saturday.

"We're happy we won the game but it's just one game," said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.

Baser Amer stepped up big and finished with a versatile line - 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Amer was also instrumental when the Lions roared to an 11-0 start and erected a 26-21 lead, their biggest in the game, late in the first quarter when he teamed up with Anthony Semerad.

"It's matter of playing confidently," said the 22-year-old Amer, who has a year left in his eligibility but is unsure if he's returning.

Nigerian behemoth Ola Adeogun also had a monster game and wound up with 14 points, 14 boards and four blocks.

More importantly, Adeogun helped in facilitating by chipping in three assists.

"I don't mind about my stats. I'm thinking more of helping the team win," said Adeogun.

For Arellano coach Jerry Codinera, they just succumbed to pressure.

"We didn't level up, we felt the jitters," said Codinera, who steered his team to its first ever finals appearance since joining the league five years back.

Earlier, the Mapua Red Robins shut down the San Beda Cubs in the fourth quarter and hacked out an 84-75 victory to move one win away from clinching their first title since going all the way 14 years ago.

Mapua, which is currently tied with San Beda with 20 high school titles, will go for the jugular in Game Two with hopes of reclaiming its old tag as the most titled team in the league.

"It's been a while since the school won a high school championship," said Mapua mentor Randy Alcantara, who started coaching six years ago when they went from zero win to five nine, 10, 11, 12 the next years before racking up 16 this year.

Warren Bonifacio led the Robins with 18 points but it was David Velvez who carried Mapua in the end by pouring in nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter when they turned 63-all deadlock to a win.

The scores:

First Game (Jrs)

Mapua 84  Bonifacio 18, Lugo 14, Velvez 14, Victoria 12, Concepcion 7, Calderon 4, Aguirre 4, Pascua 4, Salenga 4, Cabural 3

San Beda 75 - Alas 15, Decapia 14, Furaque 12, Diputado 12, Abuhije 9, Framil 5, Bordeus 4, Caracut 4, Abatayo 1, Alfaro 0

Quarterscores: 23-all; 44-45; 63-63; 84-75

Second Game (Srs)

San Beda 74 - Amer 17, A. Semerad 14, Adeogun14, Dela Cruz 13, Pascual 7, Sara 5, Koga 2, Mendoza 2, Cabanag 0, Mocon 0, D. Semerad 0, Tongco 0

Arellano U 66 - Agovida 14, Holts 11, Jalalon 9, Bangga 9, Pinto 6, Gumaru 5, Salcedo 4, Ciriacruz 4, Nichols 2, Enriquez 2, Hernandez 0, Palma 0, Caperal 0, Cadavis 0

Quarterscores: 26-17; 40-31; 59-48; 74-66

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AU Chiefs 13 4
SBC Red Lions 13 5
UPHSD Altas 12 6
JRU Heavy Bombers 12 6
CSB Blazers 11 6
CSJL Knights 8 9
LPU Pirates 6 11
SSC Stags 5 13
MIT Cardinals 4 14
EAC Generals 4 14


Wednesday, October 8, 2014 @ San Juan Arena
12:00 PM - Game 1 - Jrs/Srs
4:00 PM - Game 2 - Srs/Jrs