San Beda used a strong third quarter to assert its dominance and repeat over Arellano, 76-63, in the second round of the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

James Kwekuteye of the San Beda Red Lions (NCAA/GMA)

Capitalizing on the absence of Chiefs big man Cade Flores, James Kwekuteye took charge and finished with 16 points to help lift the Red Lions get back-to-back victories and improve to an 8-4 record.

Kwekuteye also grabbed four rebounds, JB Bahio posted 10 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists, while Justine Sanchez once again made his presence known by chipping in 10 points as well on top of four rebounds and two blocks.

A commanding 29-14 run in the third quarter led by Kwekuteye enabled San Beda to heave a sigh of relief heading into the payoff period after a closely-contested first half.

The Lions pulled away for good and never looked back at that point even as the likes of Jacob Cortez, Damie Cuntapay, and James Payosing — who were all given more than 10 minutes of play — put up the finishing touches for San Beda.

That proved to be it for the embattled Chiefs as the Lions, who drew first blood in the first round with a 35-point routing, even gained the biggest lead of the game at 25, 70-45, despite having a fair share of mini runs down the stretch.

Axel Doromal paced Arellano, which slipped to a 5-7 slate, with 12 points, three rebounds, and three assists, Wilmar Oftana chalked up 11 points, five rebounds, and three steals, while Lars Sunga had 10 points and seven rebounds.

The first half saw a nip-and-tuck affair with San Beda leading almost the entirety of the first 20 minutes before Arellano took time to regroup and put the match within striking distance and end up trailing at 34-31.

But the absence of Flores, who was reportedly nursing an injury, proved to be costly for the Chiefs as the three-point deficit blew up big time come the second half given the balanced attack of the Lions.

Veteran Shane Menina, who also provided the spark for Arellano in the first half, only saw 36 seconds of action and remained scoreless.

The Scores:

SAN BEDA 76 — Kwekuteye 16, Bahio 10, Sanchez 10, Cortez 7, Alfaro 6, Payosing 6, Cuntapay 6, Tagala 5, Andrada 4, Ynot 2, Visser 2, Jopia 1, Cometa 1, Alloso 0, Tagle 0.

ARELLANO 63 — Doromal 12, Oftana 11, Sunga 10, Mallari 9, Mantua 8, Advincula 5, Oliva 3, Talampas 3, Tan 2, Domingo 0, Tolentino 0, Antonio 0, Ongotan 0, Menina 0.

Quarters: 15-13, 34-31, 63-45, 76-63.

Source: Manila Bulletin (