By WAYLON GALVEZ
Game Friday (Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay City)
4 p.m. – Lyceum vs Letran or San Sebastian
Yukien Andrada scored 13 of his 23 points in the final period to help the San Beda Red Cubs beat the College of St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills Greenis 82-79 in their semifinal playoffs Tuesday in NCAA Season 95 junior’s tournament at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Down by six points 71-65 with four minutes to play, the 6-foot-5 Andrada scored eight straight points against LSGH’s two that leveled the score at 73-all with 2:06 remaining in the game.
LSGH got the lead back when JC Macalalag made both free throws for a 75-73 advantage with 1:54 to play.
San Beda guard Jay Ynot drilled in a three-point shot that gave San Beda a 76-75 edge before Macalalag tied the score at 76-all on split free throws with 1:18 left in the game.
Andrada, who also grabbed 10 rebounds, put the Red Cubs up for good when he scored on a putback, got the foul and completed a three-point play for a 79-76 lead with 35.2 seconds to go.
Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage as the top seeded team in the semifinal playoffs, the Red Cubs’ win pushed them back to the finals for the first time in three years, or since losing to the Mapua Red Robins in 2016.
“We’re very happy that we are back in the Finals,” said San Beda’s rookie coach Manu Inigo. “But we’re not done yet, the work is not finish for us. Our goal is to win the championship.”
San Beda also got solid contributions from Rhayyan Amsali with 12 points and 17 rebounds while Justin Sanchez added 10 points and 17 boards, and Prince Alao had 10 points.
San Beda, which will be gunning for its 23rd junior’s title, will face either No. 2 Lyceum of the Philippines University Junior Pirates or No. 3 San Sebastian College-Recoletos Staglets in the finals.
The best-of-three championship series starts Tuesday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City. The Junior Pirates, enjoying a twice-to-beat bonus, are playing the Staglets at press time.
Macalalag led the Greenies with 23 points, while Jan Manansala had 18 points and 13 rebounds.
In the second junior’s game, No. 3 San Sebastian College-Recoletos staved off elimination as it edged No. 3 Lyceum of the Philippines University, 84-75.
Milo Janao and Nikko Aguilar each scored 15 points to lead the Staglets, who will face the Junior Pirates in a do-or-die on Friday to determine the second finals spot.
SAN BEDA 82 – Andrada 23, Amsali 12, Sanchez 10, Alao 10, Ynot 8, Alcantara 5, Delfino 5, Valencia 4, llanera 3, Cabanero 2, Oftana 0.
CSB-LSGH 79 – Macalalag 23, Manansala 18, Palencia 13, Quiambao 10, Reyes 8, Arguelles 4, Estil 2, Oanlilio 1, Arciaga 0, Dimaunahan 0, Torrijos 0.
Quarters: 20-15; 35-31; 59-55 82-79.
SSC-R 84 – Janao 15, Aguilar 15, Barroga 12, Bulasa 10, Perez 7, Darbin, Brizo 7, Are 5, Concha 4, Una 2, Lustina 0.
LYCEUM 75 – Barba 24, Guadania 12, Omandac 9, Montano 8, Garro 6, Santos 6, Gamlanga 3, Caringal 3, Garing 2, Caduyac 2, Panganiban 0, Dumon 0, Ragasa 0, Gudmalin 0, Dejelo 0.
Quarters: 18-13, 42-33; 64-46; 84-75.