SBC Red Cubs’ best HS basketball team in RP
by rick olivares
The San Beda Red Cubs can finally claim the title of “the best high school basketball team in the country.”
The Red Cubs, who made it to the SM-NBTC National High School Championships via the backdoor by winning the Metro Manila Basketball League, defeated nemesis Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, 79-61, in the finals last March 16 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
From a tense, closely fought match where both teams were tied after the end of the first and second quarter, SBC began to pull away in the third period after the Magis Eagles turned the ball over six times and shot badly from the field. San Beda came after the third period with a 12-point lead, 59-47.
Both teams shot badly in the fourth but San Beda was able to somewhat pad their lead behind five points by Peter Alfaro and a surprise three-pointer by center Germy Mahinay.
Even Nelle led SBC with 18 points to take the Freego Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament while Alfaro added 10.
The Magis Eagles were led by Travis Mantua’s 13 points while Eroll Pastor and Vincent Velasco added 13 each.
It was redemption for this batch of San Beda Red Cubs who when they were in Team B two years ago, lost to Ateneo de Cebu in the semi-finals. The Magis Eagles defeat San Beda’s Team A then led by Andrei Caracut and Marc Diputado in the finals. San Beda, with their Team B moving up to NCAA status, gained a measure of revenge when they took down this same team of Cebuanos in the semi-finals last year. “Now, we can say, ‘National Champions’ na kami,” glowed an ecstatic head coach JB Sison after the win.
San Beda went 5-0 in the tournament. They also defeated Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in the group stages, 76-59, as well as UAAP champions, FEU in the semi-finals, 93-89.
Named to the Mythical Five were the Magis Eagles’ Eroll Pastor, Travis Mantua, and Vincent Velasco, and SBC’s Evan Nelle and Peter Alfaro. FilAm Sports USA’s Kamaka Hepa was named Best Defensive Player of the Tournament while the Red Cubs’ JB Sison took home the Best Coach trophy.
In the Division Two Finals, Assumption Montessori School of Cagayan de Oro survived two turnovers and three last gasp attempts by St. Jude College of Cavite in the final seconds of play to emerge triumphant, 72-71.
AMS point guard Stanley Bedolido fed Romel Calahat on the fastbreak for the marginal point and survived a scare when St. Jude’s Bryan Limpangog missed a layup and Sarby Barquin flubbed a putback. Renz Palencia missed a shot just as the buzzer sounded.
AMS’ Milo Janao took home Freego Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament honors averaging 21.0 points per game.
In other events during the last day of the SM-NBTC tournament, the National University’s John Lloyd Clemente bested Ateneo’s Dave Ildefonso in the three-point shootout while slam dunker Dave Carlos scored three perfect 50s to emphatically rule the slam dunk contest over Durham Crossover Canada’s Matthew Daves.
Named to the Division Two Mythical Five Selection were De La Salle Lipa’s Raphael Dimayuga, Assumption Montessori’s Milo Janao, Ateneo de Davao’s Kalen Axel Doromal, and St. Jude College of Cavite’s Bryan Limpangog and Kriss Kelly Gurtiza.