Malayan puts an end to San Beda’s seven-year dynasty

Malayan puts an end to San Beda’s seven-year dynasty
DAWN. In claiming their first title since 2000, Malayan also put the period in San Beda's seven-year story ruling the NCAA Juniors.

We have crowned new kings in the 92nd Season of the NCAA Juniors Basketball Tournament – and they hail from Malayan High School of Science.

The Red Robins left no doubt in claiming the throne as they dominated former seven-time champion San Beda High School, 84-67, on Friday at the MOA Arena.

The long-awaited, much-desired championship is Malayan’s first since 2000. “Masaya, sobrang masaya. Sabi ko nga sa mga bata, ‘Sa amin talaga ‘tong championship,’” a beaming coach Randy Alcantara said.

The Robins leaned on their length to impose their will from the get-go. Cutting off passing lanes and closing out on shooters, they went on a 20-6 blitz to widen their once three-point margin into a 24-13 advantage after the first quarter.

They would never be threatened the rest of the way as their lead went up to as high as 24. “Pero alam namin na ang (San) Beda, gagawa ng paraan para makabalik. Kaya pinaghandaan talaga namin,” Alcantara said.

Indeed, the now-dethroned seven-time champions kept clawing and closed to within 43-52 early in the final frame. Malayan had the answer, however, and scored seven unanswered to blow the score back up to 59-43.

“Buti mataas pa rin yung energy namin,” Alcatara said of his wards who counted six in double-digits. Brian Lacap topped the scoring with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

Bryan Samudio contributed 13 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two highlight-worthy chasedown blocks on his way to the Finals MVP. “’Di ko rin naman ginusto mag-MVP. Gusto ko mag-champion kami,” he said post-game.

Lacap, Samudio, and Clint Escamis were role players in the eliminations, but played the biggest roles in the title-clinching win. Stepping up for injured starters Mike Enriquez and Sherwin Concepcion, their long limbs were part of a smothering defense that forced 30 turnovers which were quickly converted to 24 points.

San Beda battled until the bitter end, but their efforts would be far from enough as Evan Nelle, Germy Mahinay, and Prince Etrata all fouled out in the endgame. Carlo Obenza and Addie Velasquez had 14 points apiece to front their losing effort.

The 17-point loss is an unceremonious end to the Cubs’ seven-year reign as kings of the NCAA Juniors.

BOX SCORES

MALAYAN 84 – Lacap 16, Escamis 14, Samudio 13, Garcia 12, Salenga 11, Bonifacio 10, Junsay 5, Gozum 3, Ramos 0

SAN BEDA 67 – Obenza 14, Velasquez 14, Mahinay 11, Abu Hijleh 10, Alfaro 4, Nayve 4, Tagala 3, Nelle 3, Dela Rosa 2, Lagumen 2, Etrata 0

QUARTER SCORES: 24-13, 38-24, 52-40, 84-67

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