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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The San Beda Red Lions prevailed in a classic shootout in the fourth quarter to stave off the gritty Arellano Chiefs, 83-73, and become the NCAA Season 92 men's basketball champions on Tuesday, October 11, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Before a raucous 13,128-strong crowd, San Beda cemented its legacy with a record 20th NCAA title to remain the winningest school in NCAA college basketball.
San Beda regained the title after losing to rivals Letran Knights last season and won its 9th title in 11 years. It is the first title of Jamike Jarin since he took over as coach last season.
"Yes, I would be lying (if I said no)," Jarin answered when asked if he sees this championship as redemption for his team after last season.
"It was a heartbreaking loss last year, went to overtime, best of 3. It took me a year to really get back here and along the way, I had all these young men. I'm just happy and God is good all the time."
Cameroonian Arnaud Noah was named Finals MVP. He came off the bench in Game 2 for a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds to go with two assists. Noah never started all season long but averaged 16 markers and 9 boards in two games.
Amiel Soberano also came off the bench for 16 points while Robert Bolick, a transferee from La Salle, chipped in 13 markers, 5 boards, and 3 assists.
Javee Mocon had 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists, as Davon Potts scored all 10 of his points in the final frame on 3 game-changing triples that knocked the wind out of Arellano and a free throw for the final tally.
Noah also found Potts free on the left corner for the dagger trey, 78-73, with 1:48 left.
"Like what we said the entire season, this team was built to be selfless. Always for me, it's always been my trademark, you use all your players, you give them the exposure, and after the season, you make a bond that will last forever, memories that will last forever," Jarin said.
"So this is one for the books. I'm very happy, God is good. The 15 young men, sila ang bida dito (they're the stars here). They're the ones who worked, they're the ones who played, they're the ones who won."
The Red Lions survived a valiant stand from the Chiefs, who went back to the finals for the second time in 3 seasons but failed to give the school's first NCAA crown.
Veteran guard Jio Jalalon led Arellano with a near triple-double performance of 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 10 assists despite battling foul trouble.
Jalalon, who still has one more playing year left and is still undecided about returning to Arellano, registered his third foul with still over 3 minutes remaining in the opening quarter and ultimately fouled out with 35.3 ticks left in the contest.
Allen Enriquez had 14 points and 8 rebounds, with 6 coming on the offensive glass, while Zach Nichols tallied 12 markers plus 4 boards.
Jalalon and Nichols helped rally the Chiefs out of an 11-point deficit bridging the third and fourth quarters with big 3-pointers that sparked the shootout. But it wasn't enough.
Arellano was swept by San Beda throughout the entire season, 5-0. – Rappler.com