By Jean Malanum

NEXT MOVE. San Beda University’s Jacob Cortez (with ball) prepares to dribble past Jose Rizal University’s JL Delos Santos during their National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 men’s basketball match at Filoil EcoOil Arena in San Juan on Saturday (Oct. 14, 2023). The Red Lions prevailed, 74-70. (Photo courtesy of NCAA)

MANILA – Jacob Cortez scored a game-high 24 points, including six triples, as San Beda University escaped with a 74-70 victory over Jose Rizal University (JRU) in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 men’s basketball at Filoil EcoOil Arena in San Juan City Saturday.

Cortez also came up with five rebounds, four steals and two assists for the Red Lions, who joined the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals in third place with four victories and two losses.

Peter Alfaro contributed 12 points, highlighted by three triples, while Jomel Puno added nine points, 12 rebounds and three assists for San Beda, handled by Andre Santos in lieu of head coach, Yuri Escueta.

“I am thankful to the boys for responding to me,” Santos said in the post-match interview.

After trailing in the first three quarters, the Red Lions fought back to gain the upper hand, only to lose it again at 70-69 on Marwin Dionisio’s basket, less than a minute remaining.

But Cortez came to the rescue, scoring on a layup and sinking his charities to preserve San Beda’s victory that sent JRU to fourth place with a 4-3 record.

Shawn Argente led JRU with 14 points followed by Dionisio (13), JL Delos Santos (12), Agem Miranda (11) and Joshua Guiab (10).

Meanwhile, Emilio Aguinaldo College and San Sebastian College will square off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, followed by the 12:20 p.m. tussle between Perpetual Help and Letran College. (PNA)