Benilde nears semis bonus

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF NCAA WILL Gozum of Saint Benilde muscles his way past Arellano defenders during their Season 98 NCAA men’s basketball tournament game. The Blazers prevailed, 83-73.

College of Saint Benilde moves closer to the coveted twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four following an 83-73 win over Arellano University in Season 98 National College Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.
Miggy Corteza capped a deciding 13-0 blast that led the Blazers to a tie with idle Letran College with a 13-4 win-loss card for at least a playoff for the twice-to-beat incentive in the next round.
Saint Benilde coach Charles Tiu said they gave their best, knowing that the Chiefs were playing with nothing to lose.

“It was a big win for us. I would have liked to rest my players and manage their minutes, but we had to be careful because Arellano played like they had nothing to lose,” Tiu, whose wards turned a slim 70-69 deficit into a huge 83-69 cushion, said.

“We didn’t take care of the ball but a win is a win so hopefully we can move forward for the next game.”

Robi Nayve led the Blazers with 17 points while Mark Sangco had a double-double game of 11 markers and 13 rebounds.

In the first game, San Sebastian College hung tough down the stretch to preserve a 62-59 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College.

With the Stags holding a slim 61-57 lead in the fourth quarter, Nat Cosejo scooped a layup to cut the lead to pull the Generals closer, 59-61, with 28.3 seconds to go.

Then, Jessie Sumoda split his charities in the final 2.8 seconds to give San Sebastian a three-point cushion, 62-59.

JC Luciano tried to extend the game to overtime with a half-court heave, but it was fruitless, allowing the Stags to run away with their eighth win in 17 matches.

“Even if the game was no-bearing, we still need to perform and execute what we need to do. There will always be a fourth quarter where the game is good so it’s all about execution and one team playing together,” Stags coach Egay Macaraya said.

“I want the boys to focus on defense because the offense will always be there.”

Ichie Altamirano led the Stags with 18 points, four rebounds and two assists while Rommel Calahat had a double-double game of 12 markers and 10 boards.

The Scores:
First game
SAN SEBASTIAN (62) — Altamirano 18, Calahat 12, Aguilar 11, Sumoda 6, Cosari 4, Villapando 3, Una 3, Escobido 2, Are 0, Concha 0.
EAC (59) — Cosejo 15, Dominguez 12, Tolentino 7, Maguliano 6, Cosa 6, Quinal 5, Balowa 4, Luciano 2, Angeles 2, Bajon 0, Umpad 0, An. Doria 0.
QUARTERS: 20-15, 39-32, 53-44, 62-59.

Second game
SAINT BENILDE (83) — Nayve 17, Corteza 15, Sangco 11, Pasturan 10, Gozum 9, Oczon 6, Cullar 5, Lepalam 4, Carlos 3, Lim 3, Marcos 0, Mara 0, Davis 0.
ARELLANO (73) — Flores 17, Doromal 14, Mantua 11, Tolentino 10, Talampas 10, Mallari 8, Ongotan 3, Oliva 0, Abastillas 0, Oftana 0, Sunga 0.
QUARTERS: 24-24, 45-46, 64-59, 83-73.

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