The Dynasty Continues: San Beda wins 5th straight NCAA title
MANILA, Philippines - The San Beda Red Lions have won their fifth straight NCAA men's basketball championships.
One of the most illustrious dynasties the NCAA has ever seen, the Red Lions punctuated their 5-year reign at the top of the league by defeating the Arellano Chiefs, 89-70, on Wednesday afternoon, October 22, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The championship-clinching victory was the perfect giveaway present for SBC head coach Boyet Fernandez, who will no longer be the coach of the Red Lions starting next year after agreeing to coach the NLEX Road Warriors in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Fernandez was also awarded with the NCAA Coach of the Year award.
"Thank you for this championship," he said after the game. "I would also like to thank Boss MVP," he said about the school's patron.
"I will always cherish this moment. I will always cherish this opportunity. And lastly this was for the boys."
"They tied San Sebastian," he said, referring to San Beda and San Sebastian being the only two schools in league history to accomplish a 5-peat in the men's basketball tournament. "And hopefully they'll go for a 6-peat next year."
Another guy leaving for the PBA is Anthony Semerad, the 7th pick in the 2014 Draft, who buried the Chiefs' defense with 4 3-pointers and totaled 30 points and 6 rebounds in his final collegiate game to take home the NCAA Finals MVP award.
Baser Amer finished with 4 points and 13 assists, Ola Adeogun put up 15 markers and 11 boards, and Art Dela Cruz put up 12 and 9 to help lead their team to a victory that turned out to be much easier than the first series win last Monday, October 20.
Unlike in Game 1 when San Beda raced off to an 11-2 lead, Arellano didn't allow their adversaries to build an early threshold as they went up 5-2 a few minutes into the contest.
However, the Chiefs' stay on the winning side of the scoreboard didn't last long with the Red Lions tying the game midway in the first period by turning up the intensity on the defensive side of the ball.
Thanks as well to the distribution of Amer, who already had an incredible 11 assists at the half, SBC slowly started to turn the tide of the ball game in their favor and went ahead by eight, 22-14, at the end of the first period.
The game blew open for the four-time defending champions midway through the second quarter due to back-up point guard Dan Sara's consecutive 3-pointers, which put San Beda up 26-14 and brought the team's crowd at the MOA Arena to their feet.
Not long after, it was Anthony Semerad's turn to knock down a couple of long-range shots, making the count 35-21. He finished the first half going 4-of-7 from downtown with 14 points, putting the Red Lions the driver's seat with a 39-25 lead at the half.
Arellano was able to cut the lead to six in different instances in the third period, but San Beda managed to always score a critical basket to quell their opponents' momentum and bring their advantage back to double digits.
With a little under four minutes to go in the fourth period, the Red Lions piled up consecutive field goals to push their lead to 18, 81-63, giving Arellano no chance at all to mount a comeback and seal their eighth championship in the last nine years.
Keith Agovida led the Chiefs with 22 points, while Isiah CiriaCruz had 15 markers.
San Beda's defense limited Arellano to just 33% shooting from the field, while the Red Lions shot 41% from the field. The champions also outrebounded their opponents, 53-45, and had more assists, 22-4.