San Sebastian went to Jimbo Aquino and its defense in the fourth quarter as it turned back upset-conscious Mapua, 77-74, yesterday to
close in on a first round sweep in the 85th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City. Aquino, the league’s scoring leader, fired eight of his 22 points in the final canto to power the Stags to an amazing eighth win in row and a victory closer of sweeping the first round if it could beat a dangerous Letran on Friday.
The Cardinals had a chance to force OT but couldn’t even launch a decent three-point attempt with 11.6 seconds to go after Allan
Mangahas hugging the ball instead of launching it no thanks to smothering perimeter defense put up by the Stags.
Mapua fell to its seventh setback against a win. “Jimbo Aquino is our go-to-guy and we made a key stop in the stretch,”
said San Sebastian coach Ato Agustin. “We were just lucky in this game, we couldn’t even make the shots that we usually make.
“I also have to give credit to Mapua for preparing well against us,” added the former PBA MVP.
In juniors’ action, San Beda downed Jose Rizal, 111-103, to seize solo second place with an 8-1 record.
The Light Bombers skidded to No. 3 with a 7-2 card. Reigning four-peat titlist San Sebastian slammed Mapua, 96-62, to
remain at No. 4 with a 6-2 slate. The Stags actually dictated the pace early as they went into the break ahead by 13 points, 40-27.
But the Cardinals fought their way back as they slowly but surely chipped the Stags’ once formidable advantage.
Mapua went on to close in at 71-73 but a Aquino whisked away his defender from the three-point line for a long two-point jumper to make
it 75-71 with two and a half minutes remaining. A pair of foul shots by Mark Acosta and a split charity by Mark
Sarangay with less than two minutes left trimmed their deficit even further, 74-75. It turned out the Cardinals’ last hurrah as Aquino canned the two free throws that sealed it and they couldn’t make a sing basket the rest of the way. 

Three-peat champion San Beda leaned on a monster game by American giant Sudan Daniel as it perished last year’s finals foe Jose Rizal, 95-81, to grab solo second place in the 85th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The 6’7” Daniel unleashed his league high 31 points including 11 in a big fourth quarter run that powered the Lions to their eighth triumph
against a setback, or half a game behind the unscathed San Sebastian Stags (8-0). The slam-dunking Daniel, whose previous high was 18 points going into this match, spiked his amazing effort with seven blocks, four rebounds and an assist. Garvo Lanete, Bam Bam Gamalinda and Adler dela Rosa provided the other firepower with 15, 11 and 10 points, respectively, to help send the
Bombers down to third spot with a 7-2 card. “Our game plan is to really to give to ball to Su (Daniel) inside and
they have no answer for him,” said San Beda coach Frankie Lim. Marvin Hayes and James Sena combined for 33 points and 15 caroms but they couldn’t put a lid on Daniel, who had a pair of electrifying slams in the fourth quarter that were enough to energize the Lions.

The scores:
First Game (Jrs.)
San Sebastian 96- Ramirez 22, Jumao-as 13, Magno 12, Mendoza 11, Delgado 11, Hilario 7, Vergara 4, Pante 4, de Guzman 4, Trinidad 4, Estrada 2, Laconico 2, Leyva 0, Balid 0, Soriano 0
Mapua 62- Basas 21, Castillo 12, Alejandro 11, Valdez 7, Sevilla 3, Mena 3, de Castro 2, Abad 2, Reyes 1, dela Cruz 0, Macalino 0, Targa 0, Aviso 0 QS: 23-6; 45-24; 73-36; 96-62
Second Game (Jrs.)
San Beda 111- Moralde 32, Javier 17, dela Cruz 16, Amer 11, Chavez 11, Sara 8, Monteclaro 6, Ludovice 6, Gotladera 3, Abatayo 1, Amin 0
Jose Rizal 103- Saret 31, Vigil 28, Oliveria 17, Garcia 12, dela Paz 8, Tanquintic 5, Yasa 2, Fegidero 0, Barranco 0
QS: 32-19; 57-46; 80-72; 111-103
Third Game (Srs.)
San Sebastian 77- Aquino 22, Abueva 12, Maconocido 10, Bulawan 8, Semira 6, Pascual 5, del Rio 5, Najorda 5, Najorda 5, Raymundo 3, Sangalang 1
Mapua 74- Acosta 16, Cornejo 15, Mangahas 14, Sarangay 13, Guillermo 5, Cinco 4, Pascual 2, Parala 2, Maniego 2, Stevens 1, Espinosa 0
QS: 14-9; 40-27; 62-56; 77-74

Fourth Game (Srs.)
San Beda 96- Daniel 31, Lanete 15, Gamalinda 11, dela Rosa 9, Tecson 9, Marcelo 5, Pascual 2, Taganas 2, Tirona 2
Jose Rizal 81- Hayes 19, Sena 14, Wilson 13, Cagoco 9, Njei 8, Kabigting 7, Bulangis 7, Apinan 2, Agas 2, Agas 0, Salazar 0, Matute
0, Lopez 0 

QS: 21-21; 50-42; 68-68; 96-81


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Who among the 85th NCAA Season Guest Teams will make it to the final four?