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NCAA Finals: San Beda Red Lions goes B2B

Wednesday, 26 September 2007 65 Comments

OOZING with confidence and a remarkable winning attitude in Game 2, the San Beda Red Lions has duplicated a feat they did in 1977 and 1978 – another back-to-back titles.

San Beda College, as expected, took charge in the early part and never looked back en route to a 76-64 demolition of Letran College to retain its crown last September 26, 2007 in the 83rd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

Pro-bound Yousif Aljamal started on fire in the first half and third year Rogemar Menor did the finishing touches in the final two quarters to give the Red Lions 13 crowns since joining the country’s oldest collegiate league in 1924.

San Beda Red Lions NCAA Season 82 and 83 Back to Back Champions:

Aljamal, who will suit up for Talk N’ Text next month in the PBA, torched the Knights’ porous defense earlier by firing 12 of his 24 points in the first period with 10 rebounds, while Menor piled up 12 of his 25 points in the payoff frame to lead his team.

“This is really memorable for me,� said Aljamal, who registered two triples, shot 6-of-8 from the field and had 6-of-10 attempts from the foul line. “For my last two years, I haven’t felt that we could win back-to-back. I’m really, really glad about this.�

Aljamal’s three-point play provided San Beda a 20-12 advantage with 2:21 minutes to go, and then back-up Bam Gamalinda scored three straight baskets to wow the Red Lions fans and close the first quarter ahead, 26-12.

“This is like my junior days when we won three straight titles from 2002 to 2005,� said Menor, who awarded as the Finals MVP after hitting 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and firing 9-of-13 shots from the filed. “I’m hoping we could also make it three next year.�

Menor tallied 23 points to lead San Beda to a 76-68 win in Game one of its best-of-three championship series.

Letran tried its best to fight back in the second period, trimming the deficit to 30-20 after Rafael Jazul’s two consecutive treys with 6:55 minutes left before halftime. But Samuel Ekwe responded with two baskets to stretch the lead again, 34-20, with 5:14 minutes to go.

San Beda kept its 14-point advantage at halftime, 43-29, after Aljamal’s buzzer-beater lay-up.

The last time the Knights tied the count was during the first quarter when Raymark Gutilban hit a triple for an 11-all deadlock.

Guard John Melegrito scored on two straight lay-ups to cut the deficit, 47-52 – the nearest for the Knights in the second half – with 1:21 minutes to go in the third.

The Red Lions delivered the coup de grace by unleashing a crippling 16-6 burst, capped by Menor’s first 10 points in last quarter and wrest the lead for good, 71-55, with still 4:16 minutes to go. San Beda’s ruckus crowd were already jumping and celebrating.

“This is very sweet especially for me,� said San Beda’s rookie coach Frankie Lim, who was the top playmaker of the Red Lions when they won the 1977 and 1978 titles. “My players really worked hard for these back-to-back titles.�

“Letran fought hard, but our desire to win the championship was undeniable,� he added.

Although Aljamal and Menor were the only Red Lions who scored in double figures, San Beda’s unbreakable defense and ball-rotation proved to be the deciding factor.

The Red Lions had more assists than the Knights, 20-9. They also dominated on the defensive end with more steals (7-5) and blocked shots (9-2). San Beda’s gang rebounding, 50-38, was also the key to a series sweep.

Pong Escobal had seven points, while Gamalinda and Borgie Hermida finished with six points each. Escobal and Hermida merged for 12 assists.

Ekwe, the last year’s Rookie-MVP, had only four points but hauled down 13 rebounds and swatted away six Letran attempts.

Bryan Faundo and Rafael Jazul scored 17 and 14 points, respectively, for the Knights, and lost Dino Daa and Gutilban in the early part of the last quarter in foul trouble.

“San Beda took it away and we failed to extend the series for Mikko (Quinday),� said Louie Alas, the Knights coach. “We dedicated this game to him because this is his last playing year, but we failed.�

San Beda, with its two straight titles for an overall 13 crowns, has placed them No. 3 in the list of most number of Senior Men’s Basketball titles in the NCAA. First runner-up Letran stays on top with 15, followed by former member Ateneo with 14.

In the Locker Room:

Individual scores

SBC 76: Menor 25, Aljamal 24, Escobal 7, Hermida 6, Gamalinda 6, Ekwe 4, Taganas 2,
Tirona 2, Marcelo 0, Tecson 0, Lanete 0, Maggay 0.

Letran 64: Faundo 17, Jazul 14, Melegrito 8, Guevarra 6, Quinday 5, Daa 4,, Gutilban 3,
Dangcal 2, Foronda 2, Cabonce 2, Del Rosario 1, Reposar 0.

Quarter scores: 26-12; 43-29; 57-49; 76-64.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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  • the_BEDAN says:

    All HAIL the BEDANS…WE DESERVED TO WIN THIS CROWN..Hats off to the humble and insipred Bedistas that were able to keep their compsure despite a concieted effect among the opponents to get away with unsportsmanlike attitude..Prayers do make things come true. Animo San Beda!!!

  • Leizzhy says:

    Animo San Beda!
    Congratulations to all of us! walang pasok bukas! hehe!

  • doug says:

    Congrats! A deserved win.

  • mang roger says:

    sweet!!! kita kita sa labas ng beda, guys!

  • Justice says:

    congrats san beda red lions…!!!animo san beda!!!

  • Brian Faundo......FAUNDO!! says:

    congrats mga bedans. next year bawi na lang kami ni RJ basta banggitin nyo pa rin palagi yung surname ko, masaya na ko. that in all things, God may be glorified

  • Leon says:

    yahoo champion ang beda!asteeg!

  • wye says:

    Hey guys congrats..but wait, AIR21 drafted Aljamal..who did he get traded for?

  • letranense says:

    Congrats mga Bedista!
    Sana magkita muli tayo next year! Hanggang sa susunod. Mabuhay tayong lahat!

  • Ramirez says:

    Applause also goes out to the Letran Knights for giving it their all.

    Animo San Beda!

  • Bedan Alumnus says:

    Astig talaga ang Beda! I’m sure next year San Beda will go for 3peat! Animo San Beda.. Oh la la!

    San Beda is the Great! Mabuhay tayong mga Bedista…

  • high_def says:

    Congratulations to the whole Bedan community!
    let’s three-peat it again next year!
    Animo San Beda!

  • re[d]volution says:

    a great game galanly fought by the knights and the RED LIONS…
    for letran, you guys did great this season
    for SAN BEDA, we proved once again that we are serious and we are here to stay…hehehehe


  • Son of Ekwe says:


  • atom says:

    great game by the knights…see you again next year…


  • Big Indian says:

    Oooo…Woh… Woh… Wooo…

    Go! SAN BEDA Fight!

    Aim for 3peat!

  • Big Indian says:

    Thank YOUsif for all the memories!

  • Bedan_Californian says:

    Congrats pa rin sa Letran Knights for a well fought game. But in the end, kailangan may manalo. Nagkataon the RED LIONS won. They were just the better team for the season. let’s go for a 3-peat.
    For San Beda, Our country and GOD….

  • kobe81 says:

    San beda is indeed the best college team basketball this year! congratulations sa redlions!!

    Animo San Beda!!!

  • kobe81 says:

    San beda is indeed the best college basketball team this year! congratulations sa redlions!!

    Animo San Beda!!!

  • red says:




  • Boy Pakwan says:

    Nothing less than a Grand Slam/ 3peat would be the LIONS PRIDE target next year.

    …got the talent,
    …got a new ring,
    …got the whole Bedan community,
    …now get Motivated and do the sacrifices!

    Thanks also to Letran and Coach Louie, they earn lots of respect.


  • backtoback says:

    champion na naman san beda! heheheh! ang sarap maging bedista! wuhooo!

  • Justice says:





  • Justice says:

    Thursday, 27th September 2007 at 6:31 pm





  • 85 says:

    Bedans will answer the clarion’s call for San Beda Our Country and God!

  • VIPER says:

    we donot need foreign players in the league. . .coz in the long run Philippine basketball will not benefit at all on these kind of talents! they could not turn pros and play internationally!

    SAM EKWE is the core of this team. . .if not of these guy maybe BEDA will not even grab ONE crown. . .PEACE OUT GUYS!!!

  • Mike Abasolo says:

    Hi Viper,

    I apparently do not agree with you on the “Sam Ekwe is the core….if not of these guy….”. As I have said before, Ekwe is athletic and tall Yes but skills wise, i dont think he’ll even pass in the PBA. In other words, dont be deceived. The coaching staff will find ways to use Ekwe but he’s not the key. I firmly believe even without Ekwe, San Beda will be Champs.

    The San Beda coaching staff had to make major offensive adjustments in Game 2 to pull this one off. The result, the Red Lions started to run and when they do, any team will be in trouble.

    We do not need foreign players? Yes and No.

    Yes, we do need them to increase the level of play and hoping that they’re arrival would make a dent into the Pinoy’s psyche that they need to step it up and work. But…they have to be limited because the Phils. is a small market. My latter explanation is relative but i hope you get the picture.

    No, because of, I repeat, the relatively small market and it may hinder the Filipino players’ opportunities in the long term.

  • namannaman says:

    VIPER: di naman siguro si sam lang players. manuod ka ulet ng game para malaman mo na maraming contributors.


  • redredred says:

    ay nako bakit ba may IBANG (i’m not saying ALL) letranista na ginagawang dahilan pa ang “pag-gamefix” ng players nila? kahit naman di nag-gamefix ang Knights, mas malakas pa rin and Lions! tignan niyo naman line-up namin anong sinabi ng knights?

  • namannaman says:

    kc naman di matanggap tanggap na natalo kaya kung anu ano na lang ang pinagbabasehan na natalo sla, sus. eh sila rin dati may import..sus!

  • the_BEDAN says:

    Sore loser you VIPER!!!
    U do must accept the fact the Bedistas are more better than you Letranistas..In terms of attitude and behaviour..Im proud to be a Bedista by heart,not just because of the fame of the school but because of what it teaches.. Just accept the fact that the light of the knights already faded and this is the time for Red Lions. Even if Sam was there, he was not like Kobe Bryant type of player whose a “go to” guy..You know it, we defated you not as individual..but as a team..a better team than yours.

  • mang roger says:

    manga jiho, bawasan na ang pagkacutting classes… lalo na sa english classes… lumalabo ang ingles naten… aus? kakahiya eh… sige kayo, sa letran nako magbebenta ng balut… joke lng, pero paki ayos naman po ang grammar… mas mabuti pang managalog nalang para matuwa pa sainyo si maam fernando… hehehe…

  • sammy delatorre says:

    Go San Beda fight!

    Let me say that there is really no such thing as “import” in academic competition. True there are repercushions and therefore, there should be regulations. But the presence of foreigners in the Academic league should not be put on the light of “foreign imports.” To isolate foreigners merely because they are foreigners with a different skin is discriminatory. What we are fighting here is the pride, the ideal and the honor of the school and not money. Foreign or local players, wouldnt make a difference at this point. Academic competition and Freedom is not an exclusive right of a certain people with a particular skin. Academic competition is Universal.

    In Professional leagues you can classify things with a varity of series such as “The All Filipino league,” “The Reinforced Conferenced”, etc. This is possible because of the Professional Nature of the business that encourages professional careers.

    Academic Competition is Universal.

    Sam Ekwe’s presence in collegiate basketball is nothing new. I recall the days of William Pearson of La Salle, Steve Watson of Ateneo and so forth… These guys gave these schools a lot of championships.

  • sammy delatorre says:

    In addition, Let me remind everyone that there are Filipinos who are playing in the NCAA here in the US. Not just Filipinos, but nationalities from all over the World!

    The presence of the likes of Ekwe in the collegiate league does not hurt the league at all, It helps the Sport as a matter of fact. True the competion has become very stiff and tough, But think about it, To achieve excellence is really tough. Every Sport is morphing into something new, modern, and advanced. Not just locally, but Internationally.

    We have longed to make our mark in the Sport of Basketball in the International Scene. We use to beat China as they simply beat us all the time now…. Training our young athletes in playing with and against international players would raise our quality of play, skill and intelligence wise. It is only through playing with them and against them we will find ways to get around them with what we have…

    One last thing, please be reminded that Sam Ekwe only learned to play Basketball here in the Philippines. He was a Soccer player before. The Basketball part in him therefore, is very Filipino.

    If we continue to call him Import, I think that is discriminatory.

  • noynoy says:

    We seem to focus on sam ekwe a lot. We seem to overlook the contributions of the other players in the team. I believe even without ekwe San Beda would still be the best collegiate team in the country today. They have proven early this season that they could win even without ekwe, and they could win even without al jamal. Someone from the team will surely step up in the absence of another, and they could win with pure teamwork. If you look around! other teams have imports too! others even have not just one but two. However, hindi natin nakikita kasi hindi maitim, at hindi pa nag cha champion, pag nagchampion na ? ayun saka ituturo yung import kay nag champion. Ginagawang excuse yung import kaya natalo yung other teams. We have rules to follow, and as far as San Beda is concerned, sumusunod tayo sa rules.

  • sammy delatorre says:

    Another point,

    Should recruitment of Foreign Players be allowed?

    Why not! There is nothing wrong with it. for as long as it is regulated. One or Two per team wont hurt.

    Because If we really think about it, It is the decision of the foreign player whether to play or not (and not for money) as the factor that will make the difference.

    Ekwe volunteered to study in San Beda in line of his planned vocation to be a priest. Another Nigerian mehemoth volunteered to study and play for San Beda and he is expected to play next year. Kenneth Emeka Udo I believe is his name.

    It is true their presence or tandem will give San Beda an edge, It will assure them of great chances for more glory. But the point here is the challenge they impose to other teams, the friendship they bring and develop in this unique scenario, The wonderful contributions these Nigerians bring to the league are very obvious, unique and compelling.

    What if their presence leads to an influx of Nigerians wanting to play here? Perhaps even aquiring dual citizenships so they can eventually play for our country as well? Is there anyone still complaining?

    People would say, The Playing field is no longer equal… Well in any tournament, it is never equal. There is no such thing.

    That’s why we have strong teams and weak teams and the element of challenge and competion is there. But the point here is, Is it fair? It still is. No Violations are being committed. Is it productive?, Of course it is. Learning to stop the likes of Ekwe gives us the opportunity to learn how to play with and stop Big Guys in general.

    If such is the trend in the amateurs, just think of what it can generate and morph into the pro’s

    Louis Alas himself said, San Beda is beatable! So What’s the problem?

  • sammy delatorre says:

    By the way,

    Im a Bedan and I am from San Diego Ca. I follow the news through the Internet.

    San Beda is right on course. Everything is fair with Ekwe and this new up and coming guy.

    Always remember, Academic Competition is a Universal thing.

    Thank you


    San Diego Ca

  • sususus says:

    salamat sammy..:)

  • Genom says:


    ENVY is one of the 7 deadliest sins… don’t let it consume you hehehe Fact remains, Sam is a Bedan and Bedans won the championship for us. We may or may not have won with Sam but the same goes to the other RL like Jamal, Menor Escoba etc.

    And last time I checked, Menor was the Finals MVP.

  • wye says:

    Hey guys..why is Aljamal suiting up for TalknText? Did he get traded from Air21?

  • sammy says:

    Sam Ekwe is a Bedan! and not an Import! Please… The word “import” has no place in Academic Competition because The concept of Academics is and will always be, UNIVERSAL.

    Thank you and Fight Bedans Fight!

  • Mike Abasolo says:

    Yousif Aljamal got traded to Talk and Text for Draft picks.

    And Yes let us stop using that word “import” in College Basketball, no such thing coz these guys study, they dont play for money. Let us be “un-filipino” if you know what i mean :-)

  • doofey says:

    i agree with sammy. other people only see what is tangible. its always been because of sam etc etc…what they dont see is what sam provides to local players not only sbc but the entire ncaa players. it gives some sort of an advantage playing against sam. take bryan faundo for example. playing against sam is not the same as playing against other local players. this time he should create and work on his shots. if he’s playing lets say against arao. he can easily score some baskets with arao if he was able to find ways in sneaking some baskets against sam. thats my point and everybody else here. we hope other people would understand that “advantage”

  • travis squire says:

    ok na yan…talo man squires and knights, at least umabot pareho sa finals..both against very VERY strong for the attention about ekwe, yes he is very imposing and a monster sometimes, but there’s nothing wrong about him playing here, nothing wrong also in the rule we all have to give props to san beda and their program for recruiting big ol’ sam..ok din yan..may 3 playing years pa si ekwe dba? eh di mas ok..kung sweswertehin pa rin ang knights and red lions tapos lagi pa rin sila nagtatapat sa finals, that’s good for both schools..kelan ba huling nagkaron ng ganitong rivalry sa nc? mga late 80′s and 90′s pa dba? nung mga letran-baste days pa..i think all of you remember the times nung halos nilalangaw na ung nc, walang nanonood unless required ka sa pe..walang tv coverage..may mga konting away here and there, pero overall sobrang laki ng improvement ng nc the past few players, sa competition ska sa tv coverage na here’s to 3 more years of Knights vs Red lions finals showdowns..hopefully..=)

  • tinapay says:

    Lest we forget, Perps had two “imports” this year (3 pa nga dapat). So why would people harp on San Beda? but then again, they are students not imports. And the two schools didn’t do anything wrong. If you feel that you’re at a disadvantage, eh di mag-practice na lang kayo ng mabuti.

  • travis squire says:

    hmm..i think dudes from nigeria are way more superior and more nasty than the ones from indonesia..heck we beat them indonesians senseless everytime during the seaba and sea games..=)

  • Sam says:

    Let me recall this interesting story.

    Perhaps we might realize the exciting presence and perhaps, the making of a certain gem in our midst…

    More than twenty years ago, There’s this dude from Nigeria who joined the US NCAA Soccer to represent the school of University of Houston. He was a goalie. He also excelled in another sport which is Handball.

    This guy is very athletic, and has very impressive footwork and timing.

    Like Ekwe, He was sought after because of his height. “Height is might in Basketball” as they say. But again like Ekwe, this guy is a straight soccer player.

    This Nigerian was approached by the Basketball University Coach and convinced him to play Basketball instead, he eventually accepted and quickly learned the Sport in just a few years. He dominated it. As a result he became popular as a College Player. Along with Clyde Drexler, He was given the monicker, Phi Slamma Jamma.

    As a Basketball player during his initial years, He was raw. But his potential for hoops is glaring. His skills and game approach is unique, he’s very disciplined, particularly his footwork and agility is very impressive and unique for people his frame size. He is a seven footer you know, although many observers and reports says he is only 6’10″

    The rest was history for this “dude.”

    This guy would turn out as one of the greatest people to play Basketball, In his rookie year in the NBA, He was named Rookie of the year, MVP and defensive player of the year.

    This person’s name is Hakeem Olajuwon.

    He only became an American citizen recently during the 90′s. After two decades of Basketball in the US.

    Now, Is it obvious that Im telling this story because of my support and promotion of Sam Ekwe? Without a doubt I am! Heck yeah! Im supporting Ekwe as a Bedan, and a Red Lion. I have always said before, the word Import does not exist in Academic Competition. Though I recognize there should be a regulation of sorts.

    And I also don’t believe that our Identity as Filipinos is being compromised by the presence of foreigners in our College. If they believe in the Alma Mater and what it represents, they should not be denied the honorable privilege and opportunity to compete for the school. The competion is not about the color of one’s skin, It is about what one stands for.

    It is not about us being Filipino or being Un-Filipino. It is about us Filipinos and non Filipinos competing,learning, and growing in frienship in a game of Basketball in the same token Hakeem Olajuwon shared his role as a Nigerian.

    Basketball is International. Sport competion in the name of the Alma Mater is Universal. If we mix the issue of skin color, the whole thing becomes rubbish.

    It really confuses me that whenever we get embarrassed in International competitions, we passionately complain with no end, but now that we have an opportunity to have an international player for a teammate and an opponent, we complain just as much.

    The Challenge is there for the local players. I like What I see so far. The Likes of JC Intal trying to dunk over Ekwe is contagious, whether he made it or not. Such Courage is what is needed to develop in our game. Developing however would mean versatilty. Every Player should learn how to play three or more positions…. If we can form a squad where everyone is 6’4″ to 6’5 and above where every player knows how to play three to four position, we can be competitive internationally. This is achievable. The thing about our situation however, is that our 6’4″ to 6’5″s are so “stiff” and one dimensional in international competitions because we just use them centers and that’s all.

    Those height ranges are considered point guards and off guards internationally.

    And so, Lets ask ourselves this question. How did Japan became a superpower in baseball? What was their approach to the Sport widely considered as the Great American Pastime. What were their methods. I studied this case in my Sociology Class and It is indeed very interesting. Unfortunately, I would rather have you readers research this one so you can see my point clearly.

    Allow me also to say that there is something Special about Sam Ekwe….

    Let me explain.

    Contrary to what someone in the site has said earlier, that Sam Ekwe has no competitive skills… that his coaches just use him on/for certain occassions, that he is not the key, etc, etc, etc.

    Ekwe in my strong opinion, has great skills as a Basketball player. He is still Raw, but his foundation is ahead. He is a natural shotblocker and That is a glaring skill.

    Shotblocking is not much about height alone, It is about timing, positioning, and athleticsm. That is a skill!

    Look at how he shoots in the perimeter now, look at his increased percentage in the FT lane. I believe they are skills.

    Ekwe has good footwork. Obviously this is the soccer in him. This is the reason why he can easily position himself underneath for the rebound. That is a skill.

    In his rookie year, He became the Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and MVP and the guy is just learning the game, No Skills for the PBA?

    Would one settle for the likes of E.J. Feil, Bonell Balingit, Chris Bolado over Ekwe? Gosh!

    These Characters are better than Ekwe? Good Lord!

    Let me tell you something guys and I dont care if you disagree. If Ekwe develops his post moves, increase his handles(dribbling), develop a perimeter game, develop his upper body strength, develop a one on one game, and he has all the time to learn these “skills”; This guy can be an NBA material. A Power Forward for that Matter.

    Heck! Barkley is only 6’4″ To tell you the truth!

    Tyrone Hill would be his mode. May not be a star, but Its really up to him how he will work on it.

    Remember, Hakeem Olajuwon was in the same, almost exact position. The Parallelism is strong. No wonder, Olajuwon is called “The Dream.”

    San Diego

  • Anselmbakl* says:


  • GenoM says:


    Just a correction, Hakeem was not Rookie of the year in 85 , impossible since a guy named Jordan won that award (though Olajuwon was the first pick, Jordan 3rd) and he was not MVP in his rookie year too, MVP was Larry Bird I think during that year.

    But as for the rest of your blog, I agree…

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