Lions see red, send series to Game 3

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Lions see red, send series to Game 3
Clifford Jopia of San Beda takes a shot versus two Mapua defenders in their game last night at the MOA Arena.
Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — Jacob Cortez whipped up a fourth-quarter storm as he carried San Beda to a 71-65 victory over Mapua before a roaring crowd of 22,465 at the MOA Arena, sending the NCAA Season 99 finale into a deciding Game Three.

With the exception of free throw misses, Cortez was nothing less than electric as he poured in eight of his game-best 21 points in the final period including a pair of three-point bombs that turned the tide in the Lions’ favor.

It was a big redemption game for Cortez after a forgettable effort in San Beda’s 68-63 defeat in last Wednesday’s opener.

He vowed to come back strong, and he did just that.

“Jacob, after a bad game like that, you know he’s special,” said San Beda coach Yuri Escueta of Cortez. “He doesn’t want to lose, he told me at the start of the ballgame.”

Cortez, for his part, was quick to defer and share the accolades to his teammates.

“It’s not just me, the other guys stepped up as well, not just offensively but defensively, it’s about sticking together as a team,” he said.

The win was San Beda’s first over Mapua after three straight setbacks this season.

“Very special,” said Escueta. “If there’s one thing we know and our players believe in is that we can beat them, but it won’t be easy though.”

With the series tied at one game each, the Lions and the Cardinals clash one final time Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Game Two became a foul-shooting contest as the two combined for 64 attempts.

With the tremendous pressure, the Lions missed half of their 34 and the Cardinals 12 of their 30.

In the end though, Cortez and the gutsy Lions made the biggest plays to snatch the win.

Earlier, College of St. Benilde dumped Lyceum of the Philippines University, 93-83, to clinch third place.

Robi Nayve and Miguel Corteza made their final game as Blazers memorable, pouring in 18 and 14 points, respectively, while Josh Cajucom chipped in 15 to become the first winner of the newly instituted battle for third place.

“We’ll take it, we would have been fourth under normal circumstances,” said CSB coach Charles Tiu.

The Pirates were paced by Mclaude Guadana’s 16 points and Alvin Penafiel’s 15 points but just didn’t have the killer instinct as before.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with