MANILA — Even the return of CJ Perez can’t stop San Beda from keeping the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball crown.
The Red Lions remained the champs after once again sweeping the Lyceum Pirates through a 71-56 Finals Game 2 win at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Monday.
Even if Perez came back for Lyceum from sitting out Game 1 due to a suspension, Robert Bolick’s brilliance as facilitator, Javee Mocon and Clint Doliguez’s accuracy from beyond the arc, and their teammates’ defense helped San Beda hack out a wire-to-wire win for its third straight championship despite Lyceum putting up a fight for most of the game.
The crucial moment came within the final 8:11 of the game when back-to-back triples from Mocon and Doliguez sparked a 20-4 run for the Red Lions to pull away for good.
Mocon finished with 16 points, making four of his first five three-point attempts, along with 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and five blocks to cap a Finals Most Valuable Player performance for San Beda.
Doliguez added 14 markers, three boards, three dimes, and one steal, while Donald Tankoua chipped in 13 points, 16 caroms, nine of which were off the offensive end, and one block.
Bolick only came up with four points and four rebounds, but his 12 assists, which make up half of the team’s 24 total dimes, mattered most.
Perez put up 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, and one steal in his comeback game for Lyceum, but it also turned out to be his swan song as he will graduate from the university falling short of the NCAA title for the second straight time.
Jaycee Marcelino had to carry the fight with his twin brother Jayvee sitting out due to a foot injury and contributed 13 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
SAN BEDA 71 — Mocon 16, Doliguez 14, Tankoua 13, Kwekuteye 9, Soberano 8, Oftana 5, Bolick 4, Presbitero 2, Abuda 0, Cabanag 0.
LPU 56 — Perez 19, Jc. Marcelino 13, Nzeusseu 11, Pretta 5, Ayaay 4, Caduyac 2, Serrano 2, Yong 0.
Quarters: 23-15, 39-33, 49-44, 71-56. PNA-northboundasia.com