80th  NCAA HIGH SCHOOL:  SAN BEDA RED CUBS COP 15th CROWN IN A ROW

MANILA,  September 25, 2004  (STAR) By Joey Villar - Rogemar Menor dished out a game worthy of an MVP, firing 30 points and snaring 20 rebounds to power San Beda past Letran, 88-72, yesterday for the Red Cubsí 15th straight championship in the 80th NCAA high school basketball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

"Masaya ako at natulungan ko ang team na mag-champion at napakita ko na deserving ako mag-MVP," said Menor, a native of Isabela who bagged the most coveted individual award Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

"Letran is a great team. It won over us twice and the only one which beat us this season. They made us work extra hard," said San Beda coach Edmundo "Ato" Tolentino, who owns 15 of the Mendiola-based schoolís 17 crowns in the league.

"Iím also glad that I got the job done even if Iím holding another job as the commissioner of the UAAP," he added.

Happier was Fr. Anscar Chopungco O.S.B., rector and president of San Beda.

"Masaya ako dahil nanalo naman kami," said Chopungco, who watched the game and joined the teamís celebration on the court.

The Squires, who stunned the Cubs, 81-76, in Game 2 to force a deciding game, actually took charge early but wavered in the face of the Red Cubsí big surge in the second quarter.

After falling to double-digit deficits in the third quarter, Letran refused to give up and fought back to close to within, 64-65, at the end of the period.

But Lucas Tagarda, who keyed Letranís series-tying win in Game 2, sustained a cut on his right eyebrow that sidelined him for a crucial stretch in the final period.

Taking the cue, the Red Cubs pounced on Tagardaís absence, outscoring their rivals before coasting to the victory.

The scores:

San Beda 88 ó Menor 30, Martinez 15, Tecson 9, Victorino 8, Castillo 8, Taganas 8, Guillermo 6, Hermida 2, Ventosa 1, Espinosa 1, Ferrer 0, Principer 0, Cruz 0.

Letran 72 ó Tagarda 17, Rosopa 16, Martin 15, Musni 12, Valencia 4, De Mesa 4, Ruiz 3, Dizon 1, Latonio 0, Garland 0.

Quarterscores: 23-29, 51-43, 65-64, 88-72.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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