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Lions alone on top

San Beda turned back St. Benilde, 4-1, yesterday to seize the solo lead and close in on clinching the first round pennant in the 92nd NCAA senior football tournament at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Aljo Paul Zabala, Ralph Estephen Abriol, Neil Dorimon and Mark Den Castillo delivered the decisive goals to help propel the Red Booters to their fifth straight victory and the solo lead with 15 points.

Zabala and Abriol set the tone by scoring two goals in the first half before Dorimon and Castillo sandwiched St. Benilde’s Valentino Calvo’s 88th minute goal in the second half to cap the win.

“I’m happy with the way we played and achieved our goal of taking the lead. Now we will focus on winning the first round,” said San Beda coach Michael Pediamonte.

San Beda will have a chance to clinch the first round pennant if it could hurdle defending champion Arellano U, which are currently tied at second with St. Benilde on 12 match points apiece, on Friday.

Earlier, Lyceum relied on late goals by Jannelmar Deuda and Riel Mark Subebeto to edge Mapua, 2-1, while Perpetual Help downed Emilio Aguinaldo, 4-1, to jump to a share of fourth spot with six points each.