(Members of the San Beda Red Cubs enjoy a moment as 7-peat champions).
It’s a record.
This is what an undermanned and overachieving San Beda Red Cubs did last Oct. 29, Thursday in Game 3.
(Coach JB Sison gets a victory ride for their 7-peat).
For holding their ground in the third quarter and outplaying the Arellano University Braves, 70-61, they got themselves in the league history books in a big way.
They clinched a record-setting seventh straight junior title in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Hindi naman namin goal iyun eh,” said Red Cubs coach JB Sison, who said sweeping their 21-game assignment throughout the season was never in their minds.
Instead, he asked the boys to focus on winning the championship.
(Evan Nelle receives his Final MVP trophy from mancom rep Mari Lacson).
Evan Nelle is not even in the mythical five during the elimination round.
But Nelle’s performance in Game 1, and in Game 3 when he tallied a gamehigh 13 points merited him a finals MVP award.
(Eduardo Velasquez in a rebound play with Ira Bataller).
He drained three of five triples in the four minutes to help the Red Cubs move away.
His big game allowed the Red Cubs to pull off their second consecutive triumph in their finals series with the Braves.
“I did not expect it naman eh. I was trying to control the game with my teammates. Pass the ball properly. Suwerte lang,” said Nelle.
(Coach JB Sison with the coach of the year trophy).
The Arellano Braves fought it out right from the start.
On the other hand, the Red Cubs were short on manpower, with two injured wingmen not seeing action.
(Carlo Abadeza(8) in a rebound battle with Sam Abhuijle).
In Game 2, John Lagumen hurt his hamstring, and Alfaro sprained his ankle.
As the game got under way, Resty Fornis hit five points and combined for nine with Nino Tamayo as the Braves took charge, 17-14, in the first period.
After Robi Nayve scored on a drive to put San Beda on top, Guilmer de la Torre struck twice with his drives, ending the half with the Braves in the lead, 32-30.
De la Torre shot 15 points, and he drained one of two threes in the last 8:59.
This allowed the Braves to move ahead by eight, 38-30.
But the Red Cubs went on to turn the tables on the Braves in the next instance.
(Resty Fornis takes possession of the ball).
A change in defense, from man to zone, did the trick.
During the transition, Addie Velasquez drove in and and hit a trey, and Nelle unleashed another triple during an 11-0 blast who allowed them to overtake the Braves, 47-43.
(Guilmer de la Torre in a one-on-one with Robi Nayve).
Prince Etrata, who made eight points, went for a jumper, and Albert Bordeos stole off de la Torre and drove in in the last eight minutes, handing San Beda a 58-51 lead.
De la Torre replied with a triple which kept Arellano in the thick of the fight, 54-58.
After Mahinay’s jumper with 5:50, allowed San Beda to maintain a 60-55 lead, they forced Arellano to four turnovers in their effort to protect their six-point lead.
Then, Nelle unloaded a trey, and San Beda gain an eight-point spread, 63-55, in the final 4:12.
Nelle’s final triple and Mahinay’s layup with 3:42 left gave the Red Cubs a 65-54 edge in the last period.
(Lars Sunga in one-on-one with Lars Sunga).
“I did not expect it naman. I was trying to control the game with teammates, pass the ball properly, suerte lang,” said Nelle.
Guilmer de la Torre powered the Braves with 15 points while Lars Sunga and Nino Tamayo added 13 and 12 points.
(Nino Tamayo tries to get past Josh Tagala).
Retired coach Edmundo Badolato, before he quit, steered the Red Cubs to their first crown in 2009 before Britt Reroma added three from 2010 to 2012.
San Beda 70- Mahinay 15, Nelle 13, Velasquez 12, Etrata 8, Bordeos 8, Abuhijle 6, Tagala 4, Nayve 2, de la Rosa 2, Barbero 0.
Arellano 61—de la Torre 15, Sunga 13, Tamayo 12, Abadeza 9, Fornis 5, Danas 3, Espiritu 2, Bataller 2, Velasco 0, Calapine 0.
Quarterscores: 14-17, 30-32, 52-32, 70-61.