Jacob Cortez unloaded 16 points as the San Beda University Red Lions pummeled the Arellano University Chiefs, 85-61, on Tuesday in their opening encounter in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan.
The Red Lions took control with their outside shots and command of the boards as they kept the Chiefs at bay in the first two quarters.
Back-to-back baskets from Cortez in the last 7:43 allowed the Red Lions to move away by 17 points at the end of a 10-0 run in the second quarter, 34-17.
James Payosing chipped in 17 points and eight rebounds for the Red Lions, with his layup in the last 3:55 of the third canto handing them a 33-point edge, 64-31.
Damie Cuntapay struck with 13 points and 10 rebounds, including one of two triples which San Beda scored in the last 4:56 of the first canto, helping the Red Lions move away by 12, 21-9, in the remaining 2:43.
The Red Lions now share the lead with the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers and the Lyceum Pirates.
The Mendiola dribblers will have a chance to extend their winning run to two when they play the Mapua Cardinals at 4 p.m. on Friday.
James Ongotan showed the way for the Chiefs with 16 points.