NCAA: CSB hands San Beda their first loss of season

MANILA, Philippines - College of Saint Benilde's Mark Romero said it best after the game: “Hindi kami makapaniwala na panalo pala tayo sa San Beda."

(We can't believe that we beat San Beda.)

But on Monday afternoon, July 28, his team did it anyway. And he had a lot to do with it.

Romero finished with 20 points - including 12 in the fourth quarter - and six assists, while Paolo Taha put up 16 markers, seven rebounds, and two assists to help the CSB Blazers snap their on-court losing streak to the San Beda Red Lions at 16, 83-76, at the San Juan Arena.

The team known as The Heartbreak Kids of the NCAA defeated the four-time defending champions to improve their record to 3-3, while giving the Red Lions their first loss after six games in Season 90.

It was the first on-court win over SBC since August 26, 2005 for CSB, which leaned on an impressive showing by Romero in the final period.

After a corner three-pointer by Ryusei Koga tied the contest, Romero converted two quick baskets to make the contest a two-possession game, 75-71.

After another attempt at a 3-ball by Koga did not go in and Anthony Semerad failed to convert a long-range shot of his own, Romero came back down and scored again on a tough lay-up, making the count 77-71 with 1:30 to go.

The Red Lions then missed again, paving the way for Jeffrey Ongteco to nail a baseline jumper and extend the lead to eight. Art Dela Cruz hit a triple to keep San Beda within striking distance, but St. Benilde managed to ice the game at the charity stripe.

Baser Amer led the losing side with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Ola Adeogun put up 15 and 13.

Officially, CSB was granted a victory over SBC in 2008 despite the latter winning the game after it was revealed that Sam Ekwe, a Red Lions big man at that time, was not wearing his team's prescribed uniform.

The incident led to a forfeiture and loss for San Beda.

Monday's win was the first one for the Blazers in nine years in which they outplayed the Red Lions on the hardwood.

CSB (83): Romero 20, Taha 16, Grey 15, Bartolo 9, Nayve 7, Ongtenco 6, Argamino 5, Altamirano 3, Sinco 2, Jonson 0, Saavedra 0, Mercado 0

SBC (76): Amer 18, Adeogun 15, Dela Cru 15, Koga 13, Semerad A 8, Pascual 6, Semerad D 1, Cabanag 0, Mendoza 0, Mocon 0, Sara 0, Tongco 0, Solera 0 

Quarter Scores: 25-23, 37-37, 55-55, 83-76