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San Beda Dominates Lyceum and Advances to NCAA Finals

Perennial powerhouse San Beda hadn’t reached the NCAA men’s basketball Finals in four years. Until today. The Red Lions put on a blistering performance to eliminate Lyceum and claim the other Finals berth.

With a Season 99 Finals ticket on the line, San Beda sank 13 triples to repulse the Pirates, who had a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. Head coach Yuri Escueta lauded the team’s perseverance.

Not only did the Mendiola squad return to the grandest stage but they also hiked their win streak to six, dating back to the end of the elimination round.

San Beda Red Lions’ James Payosing. –MARLO CUETO/

In the third quarter, when both teams were caught in a stalemate at 51-all, the quartet of Nygel Gonzales, Jacob Cortez, Damie Cuntapay, and Yukien Andrada unloaded four straight triples to give San Beda a 64-51 lead. San Beda capitalized on this advantage and secured their spot in the finals.

Lyceum had several opportunities to regain the lead in the payoff period but its 11 turnovers for the whole game cost them a Finals trip against Mapua. Two players from San Beda got double-double with James Payosing finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Gonzales and Andrada scored 11 and 10 in the victory.

Enoch Valdez gave his sendoff for Lyceum with a 28-point outburst while JM Bravo notched 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Pirates will not be returning to the Finals since 2018. Game 1 of the Finals is set for Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.