San Sebastian stunned Arellano, 71-66, to earn back-to-back wins in the second round of the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament Friday, Nov. 4, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Alex Desoyo of the San Sebastian Stags (NCAA/GMA)

Kenneth Villapando led the Stags, who improved to a 5-6 record, with 15 points on a 5-of-7 shooting along with seven rebounds while Alex Desoyo and Itchie Altamirano chipped in 12 points apiece with the former dishing out five assists and the latter with four.

It all boiled down to the final sequence down the stretch even as San Sebastian, which came alive in the second half down from an 18-point deficit, kept a five-point lead twice beginning the three-minute mark of the payoff period.

A split free throw by Neil Tolentino and a quick basket from Cade Flores pumped life for the Chiefs to cut the deficit down to two only, 68-66, with only 24.2 seconds left.

Villapando, in the ensuing play, converted a pivotal basket off a strong drive as Cade Flores missed a three-point attempt on the other end.

In the last turn of events, Raymart Escobido split a technical free throw while Tolentino, also off a technical free throw, fired blanks from the charity stripes — some crucial shots that could have made it a one-ball possession ball game for Arellano.

Travis Mantua paced the Chiefs with 15 points while Axel Doromal chipped in 13 points in three assists.

Flores, Tolentino, and Jade Talampas scored eight points each as well for Arellano, which absorbed two straight losses en route to a 5-8 record.

The Scores:

SAN SEBASTIAN 71 — Villapando 15, Desoyo 12, Altamirano 12, Yambing 7, Are 7, Shanoda 4, Una 3, Escobido 3, Aguilar 3, Calahat 2, Suico 2, Concha 1, Cosari 0.

ARELLANO 66 — Mantua 15, Doromal 13, Flores 8, Talampas 8, Tolentino 8, Mallari 5, Domingo 3, Oliva 2, Abastillas 2, Ongotan 2, Oftana 0, Sunga 0, Tan 0.

Quarters: 14-23, 33-37, 49-48, 71-66.

Source: Manila Bulletin (