A semifinal spot in the Sportsclick AsiaBasket International Championship was formally clinched on Thursday night College of Saint Benilde beat Shawarma Shack Pilipinas, 79-68, at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Blazers stayed unbeaten in Group A action.
CSB pulled away for good in the second half, erupting for 29 points in the third quarter to enter the fourth with a 64-48 before extending it to as high as 21, 73-52, midway through the final frame.
Miggy Corteza continued to make a case for the AsiaBasket Most Valuable Player award as he led CSB, now 3-0 in the standings, with 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Migs Oczon added 13 points, four rebounds, five assists, and five steals, while Zenric Jarque and Robi Nayve each had nine markers off the bench.
CSB is set to play Harimau Malaysia on Friday night for a chance to sweep Group A play.
Mike Nzeusseu towed Shawarma Shack, which dropped to 1-2, with 23 points, 23 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal.
Meanwhile, San Beda-Machateam suffered its first loss in Group B after being on the receiving end of a 108-106 double overtime loss to Kuala Lumpur.
The Aseel appeared to have won in regulation after Joshua Gan and Louie Sangalang hit back-to-back triples, giving them an 87-84 lead with 15.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter. However, Red Lion Jacob Cortez forced an 87-all deadlock with a three-pointer of his own with 9.8 seconds left, even as Jalen Robinson missed two layups on the other end that could have preserved the victory for the Aseel before the final buzzer.
In the first overtime, Cortez once again willed San Beda-Machateam as he went on a personal 7-2 run to force the second extension at 96-all, even as Gan could not win it outright for KL at the final horn. The Red Lions were on track to win after taking a 106-103 advantage with 1:08 to play, but Robinson caught fire with five straight points, including the go-ahead layup with 6.5 seconds left.
Robinson could have stretched the Aseel’s lead further, but he couldn’t finish the three-point play. However, they eventually escaped as Cortez missed the potential game-winning three for the Red Lions on the final play.
Robinson finished with a rare 50-20 double-double of 55 points and 24 rebounds with four assists and one steal for KL, which moved up to 1-1 in Group B play.
Sangalang added 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and three steals, while Gan chipped in 13 points, two rebounds, and three assists.
Cortez ended up with 33 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one block, while Damie Cuntapay chipped in 22 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and one steal, and Yukien Andrada had 13 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and three steals for San Beda-Machateam, which dropped to 2-1.
In other games, Sanzar Pharmaceuticals scored its first win after taking down the MFT Fruitmasters, 75-73, while MBC Kirin bounced back from a tough defeat against San Beda with a 112-95 rout against the BGC Builders.