College of Saint Benilde crushed University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 81-64, to stay perfect in Season 98 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament Tuesday, 20 September at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Will Gozum submitted a double-double performance for the Blazers who roared to their third straight win in the early stretch of the country’s oldest collegiate basketball league.
Gozum fired 16 points and 12 rebounds while helping the Blazers drop a 13-0 bomb that turned a slim 33-32 lead into a comfortable 46-32 cushion in the third period.
Saint Benilde padded the lead to as many as 25 points after Chris Flores nailed a layup in the final 9:17 mark, 67-42.
Miggy Corteza scored 15 points on 5-of-7 field goal shooting to lead the bench crew in registering an impressive 50 points.
Saint Benilde head coach Charles Tiu laded his wards, saying that they played with fire in their eyes after the Altas sent them packing in the play-in tournament for the last Final Four spot in Season 97.
“We felt that we were not making our shots in the first half, but I thought we played okay. We tried to make some adjustments at the half,” Tiu said.
“I’m thankful that the players were able to hit their shots so the credit goes to them. At the back of our minds, that team eliminated us last season so we want to get rid of that bad taste out of our mouths.”
Tiu added that the win was a total team effort.
“I think my players know that we trust them and we will give them opportunities,” he added.
“We don’t know who will play well I thought everybody chipped in little by little. We’re happy to get the win.”
Aside from Gozum and Corteza, Robi Nayve also dropped 12 markers, two rebounds and an assist for Saint Benilde.
Ray Barcuma, meanwhile, delivered 14 points, four rebounds and two assists for the Altas, who sank to their second loss in three outings.
SAINT BENILDE (81) – Gozum 16, Corteza 15, Nayve 12, Marcos 7, Flores 7, Oczon 6, Pasturan 6, Cullar 2, Sangco 2, Dimayuga 2, Cajucom 2, Davis 2, Mara 2, Carlos 0, Lepalam 0.
PERPETUAL (64) – Barcuma 14, Aurin 13, Nitura 12, Flores 8, Abis 6, Omega 4, Martel 3, Egan 2, Razon 2, Ferreras 0, Cuevas 0, Roque 0.
QUARTERS: 13-17, 33-32, 65-42, 81-64.
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