NCAA: Jacob Cortez drops new career-high as San Beda drags LPU to rubber match

Jacob Cortez played an inspired ballgame, steering San Beda University to a decisive 89-68 victory against second seed Lyceum of the Philippines University to live for another day in the NCAA Season 99 on Tuesday.

The third year ace posted a new career-best of 28 points on top of eight assists, four rebounds, and three steals to lead the charge.

The win allowed the Red Lions to drag the Pirates to a sudden death Game 2 semifinals on Friday at 3 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It was all San Beda right from the get-go, shooting an impressive 55.2 percent from the field to take a 52-38 halftime lead as Cortez caught fire early with 14 points.

LPU would unleash a better fight to open the third after a quick 6-0 run cut their deficit to a single digit at 44-52.

With Cortez anchoring their offense, the Red Lions didn’t allow the Pirates to gain any kind of momentum and soared to a 73-60 lead.

It didn’t help LPU when key cogs Enoch Valdez and Shawn Umali already had three fouls each at the break. No one stepped up to the plate for the Pirates and the Red Lions took advantage of it with Cortez extending their lead to 21, 87-67, with still 4:08 to go.

Yukien Andrada and Nygel Gonzales chipped in 12 points apiece while James Payosing churned out nine markers, four boards, and two dimes.

Valdez still paced LPU with 14 points, nine markers, two steals, and one block while Mclaude Guadaña and John Barba chimed in with 12 and 10 markers each.


San Beda 89- Cortez 28, Andrada 12, Gonzales 12, Payosing 9, Puno 7, Visser 6, Tagle 6, Jopia 6, Alfaro 2, Cuntapay 1, Tagala 0, Torres 0.

LPU 68- Valdez 14, Guadana 12, Barba 10, Cunanan 9, Umali 8, Villegas 6, Bravo 4, Montano 3, Omandac 2, Penafiel 0, Saure 0, Fuentes 0, Versoza 0.

Quarterscores: 22-16; 52-38; 73-60; 89-68.

—JKC, GMA Integrated News

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