College of Saint Benilde used a huge fourth quarter to topple defending champion San Beda, 83-76, in NCAA Season 90 action Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
Mark Romero scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth period to help the Blazers shock the Red Lions and hand them their first defeat of the season.
Benilde had their guns ablaze early, starting the game with an 11-0 run to stun San Beda.
But the Red Lions quickly recovered, countering a 10-0 run to come back and finish the first period down by two points, 25-23.
It was a seesaw battle since then, as no team was able to pull away with a comfortable lead. Ryusei Koga, Art Dela Cruz and Baser Amer were providing quality production for San Beda, while Romero, Paolo Taha and RJ Argamino were carrying the Blazers.
Both teams found themselves tied after the second quarter (37-all) and third quarter (55-all) before Benilde took control of the game down the stretch.
With the game tied at 71-all, Romero carried the cudgels for Benilde after scoring three straight layups to give the Blazers a 77-71 lead with 1:30 left.
Robert Bartolo then trickled in a baseline jumper to cap an 8-0 run which put Benilde comfortably ahead, 79-71, with one minute remaining.
Dela Cruz drained a triple to trim San Beda’s deficit, 79-74, but Taha made free throws on the other end to complete Benilde’s upset.
Benilde evened its record to three wins and three losses, while San Beda suffered its first loss of the season after winning five straight.
Meanwhile, Velasco also hopes that the growing support for their basketball team continues, in victory and defeat.
“The crowd plays a big factor in our victories and they’re our energizer. I hope they continue to support us in victories and in defeat.”