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San Beda fans F4 bid

Yukien Andrada shows the way for San Beda in the Red Lions’ 74-69 win over the Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers yesterday. | Photograph COURTESY OF NCAA

Games today:

(Filoil EcoOil Centre)

12 p.m. — Arellano vs Lyceum

2  p.m. — Saint Benilde vs Letran


San Beda University survived a feisty Jose Rizal University side, 74-69, to boost its Final Four hopes in yesterday’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

The Red Lions are now in fourth place with a 10-6 win-loss record as the Final Four race tightens.

Yukien Andrada buried a layup with 27 seconds left in the fourth quarter for a 73-67 lead before Heavy Bomber JL delos Santos cut the lead down to four points, 73-69, with 21 seconds left on the clock.

Nygel Gonzales split his two free throws, 74-69, with 15 seconds on the clock to wrap it all up.

San Beda head coach Yuri Escueta was right in describing the Heavy Bombers in the post-game chat with scribes.

“Any team coached by coach Louie Gonzales won’t give up. I told them in the huddle that we have to play until the end,” Escueta said.

“Hats off to the players. They’re the ones who gave their all. If it helped us get into the Final Four, then good but for now, it’s one game at a time (approach for us) and (we just have to) play as hard as we can. Whatever the result is as long as we did what we are supposed to do, I’m okay with that.”

The Lions will have to win their last two games, against Lyceum of the Philippines University on Tuesday and against Letran College on Friday, as they try to make it to their 16th consecutive Final Four appearance since 2006 and possibly, a playoff for the coveted twice-to-beat advantage.

Yukien Andrada led the way for San Beda with 18 points while James Payosing, who celebrated his 21st birthday, delivered a double-double performance of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

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