The San Beda Red Lions drew first blood in the NCAA Season 93 finals, tainting the LPU Pirates’ immaculate slate with a 94-87 win in Game One of the best-of-three finals on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Donald Tankoua exploded for 27 points and 20 rebounds as Robert Bolick chipped in 24 points and four boards to lead the defending champions who moved just a win away from another championship.
The result ended the unbeaten run of LPU which booked an outright finals seat after completing an 18-0 sweep of the elimination round.
The loss also spoiled the big night of CJ Perez who before the game was named as NCAA MVP. He finished the game with 25 points and eight rebounds to pace the Pirates.
The Red Lions trailed by as many as 12 points but managed to overcome after outgunning the Pirates in an intense fourth quarter.
Game Two is scheduled on Tuesday with San Beda looking to clinch its 21st basketball title.