A shorthanded San Beda Red Lions squad defeated University of Cebu, 83-77, Tuesday to keep the NCAA champions’ finals hope alive in the PCCL National Championship at the Fil Oil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
With their top players not in uniform for various reasons, Rome Dela Rosa, Mar Villahermosa and Baser Amer picked up the slack for the Red Lions against the Webmasters.
The Red Lions are playing with only 10 players with top scorer Garvo Lanete still nursing a shoulder injury and Jake Pascual still in the hospital recovering from a bum stomach.
UC was in contention for the most part as it only trailed by one point, 57-56, at the end of the third quarter, before San Beda pulled away in the final period.
Dela Rosa notched 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter. With just a three-point lead for San Beda, Amer and Villahermosa, a Cebu native who was part of the University of San Jose Recoletos squad, combined for the final nine points of the game for the Red Lions. Dela Rosa, Villahermosa and Amer also combined for nine of San Beda’s 12 three-pointers in the game.
San Beda overcame a 24-point, 14-rebound effort by UC’s big man Junmar Fajardo.
“The important thing for us is how we contained the other guys,” said San Beda coach Frankie Lim. “Fajardo is such a big guy and we did our best to stop him. But we were able to run a lot of fastbreaks and Rome, Baser and Mar were shooting a lot of threes for us.”
San Beda faces Ateneo on Friday with the winner facing San Sebastian in the finals.
The Webmasters, the Southern Islands champion of the tournament, are now out of contention for a finals seat and will face San Sebastian on Thursday.