NCAA: UNDEFEATED, PERFECT 18,  SAN BEDA RED LIONS CLAIM CROWN


[PHOTO AT LEFT -
UNDEFEATED: The San Beda Red Lions celebrate after claiming the NCAA men’s basketball crown yesterday. JOEY MENDOZA]

MANILA, OCTOBER 16, 2010 (STAR) By Joey Villar -  San Beda survived another bruising, physical battle with San Sebastian and hammered out an 85-70 victory yesterday to complete a perfect season in the 86th NCAA men’s basketball tournament before 13,018 paying patrons at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Red Lions took a lot of beating as they ran into the Stags’ rugged defense but still came out virtually unscathed to annex their 15th overall crown in record fashion.

American giant Sudan Daniel endured the Stags tough defense to finish with game-highs 24 points, 19 rebounds and five shot blocks as the Lions made history with a 3-0 sweep of their best-of-five title showdown and the entire season.

“It can’t get any better,” said San Beda coach Frankie Lim. “This one’s for my players who worked hard starting from last year when we lost the title and for the San Beda community that never lost its faith on us.”

San Beda, which took the series opener, 93-73, also became the second team to sweep its way to the crown in 18 games.

The last team to achieve the feat was San Sebastian 16 years ago.

It was also a double victory for San Beda as the Cubs took the juniors’ crown with their own version of a sweep, also over the San Sebastian Staglets, 95-84.

The Mendiola-based squad thus matched Letran’s feat 27 seasons ago when it won both the collegiate and high school titles.

It was actually San Beda’s second double victory after it first swept both divisions 32 years ago.

“I hope this 18-game streak will last for a long time,” said Lim, member of the 1978 team that last won both the juniors’ and seniors’ crowns.

The match expectedly turned physical in the early going up to the third quarter that had San Beda’s key players hitting the floor on hard picks and rebounds.

Foiled in its ploy in the first game, the Stags played physical again in an attempt to unsettle the Lions. But the former three-peat champions held their ground and bucked the challenge to accomplish their mission.

Two flagrant fouls were assessed on San Sebastian’s Calvin Abueva and Gilbert Bulawan in the second quarter for extra motion while Lim was warned early in the first quarter as game officials kept the match under control.

Both benches were also assessed a technical foul while San Sebastian’s Jonathan Semira was also called a flagrant foul all in the final period.

The Stags, led by Anthony del Rio, battled their way back from a 16-point deficit heading into the final quarter.

The defending champions had three chances of moving to within five points down the stretch but fumbled two offensive tries before Garvo Lanete came through with a shot-clock beating triple that broke the backs of the Stags.

Daniel waxed hot early with 13 points while plucking eight rebounds to lead the way in the first half.

Fil-Aussie Anthony Semerad capped a 10-0 blitz with a triple from the right flank as the Lions seized a 30-17 lead, an advantage they kept and padded to 43-27 at the break with the slam-dunking Daniel delivering the key blows.

[STAR sports columnist and college hoops expert Bill Velasco gives an in-depth primer of the NCAA finals series between powerhouse San Beda Red Lions and defending champions San Sebastian Stags.
Get the latest updates on NCAA Season 86 Finals here: http://www.philstar.com/microsite/college-hoops-2010/ncaa-season-86/home.aspx ]


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