The College of Saint Benilde Blazers outscored Adamson University by 13 points in their match’s penultimate period en route to a 79-68 triumph in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup Wednesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Four Blazers were in double digits with Jonathan Grey spearheading the Benilde crew with 15 points, 11 of which were scored in the opening half. Romeo Nayve, Fons Saavedra, and JR Ongtengco provided ample support by combining for 37 points. In the losing effort, Adamson rookie hotshot JD Tungcab tallied 25 points. His effort, however, was in vain with only small forward Nico Capote the only one scoring more than nine points.
It was a physical first quarter with both teams entering the penalty. In fact, the two teams’ combined trips to the line (13) were more than their field goals made (11). Benilde opened the game stronger than Adamson with two field goals from Ralph Deles and Ongteco to put them up, 8-4, halfway through the opening period. In response, Tungcab towed his team level by scoring six quick points in less than a minute.
With both teams tied at 10-apiece, Grey came off the bench to ignite a 7-3 rally for his team to go ahead anew. In the midst of that Benilde rally, Adamson’s Joseph Nalos was ejected from the game for throwing a punch on Gerald Castor. Facing a four-point deficit, the Falcons ended the period much better. They maximized the opportunity to score from the 15-foot stripe, taking a one-point lead after the game’s first 10 minutes.
In the second period, the Blazers regained the lead with Grey and Castor leading the way. On their part, Adamson steadily poured in points, keeping the gap to as low as three points. When Benilde struggled to score points, the Falcons gradually retook the advantage. Tungcab and Capote did the damage to cancel the points scored by Saavedra. At the half, Adamson were ahead by two points.
Seemingly unable to get into the groove in the first half, the Blazers scored five unanswered points to turn the game around in their favor. The Blazers limited their UAAP opponents to five field goals throughout the third period, the first of which came when Benilde already made seven points. As a result, Adamson coach Kenneth Duremdes called a timeout to urge his players but it was Benilde mentor Gaby Velasco who got what he wanted from his team. Three minutes after the Falcons’ timeout, the Blazers multiplied their lead to three—from three to nine—with Rene Sta. Maria providing six points to play the catalyst in the NCAA team’s third quarter blast. Adamson trimmed the deficit to five, but two straight triples from JJ Domingo and Nayve in the last minute of the third period gave the team in white-and-green an 11-point advantage.
The Blazers kept pace with the trailing Falcons in the first three minutes of the final canto to preserve their double-digit lead. Once again, the team from Malate benefitted well from a Duremdes’ timeout by inflating their lead to 15 points with only four minutes and change remaining. Ochea and Tungcab attempted to breathe life into Adamson’s quest for an elusive win, but Benilde held on to clinch their third win in the competition.
Velasco was delighted to know that his team learned a vital lesson they can bring into the upcoming NCAA season. “If we have a bad first half, at least in the second half, we’re able to adjust and correct our mistakes,” he pointed out. He also stressed the importance of using the tournament as a way of assessing their tendencies in order for them to apply the lessons they acquired in joining the FilOil Flying V Premier Cup. With the outcome of the game, the Blazers reach the .500 mark with a 3-3 win-loss record while Adamson absorbed their fifth loss in six games played.
CSB 79 — Grey 15, Nayve 13, Saavedra 12, Ongtengco 12, JJ Domingo 8, Castor 6, Sta. Maria 6, Deles 4, Jonson 3, Norberte 0, Fajarito 0, Young 0, JS Domingo 0
AdU 68 — Tungcab 25, Capote 10, Ochea 9, Bernardo 8, Espleta 4, Ng 3, Pasturan 2, Polican 2, Baytan 2, Barrera 1, Aquino 0, Gumtang 0, Nalos 0
Quarters: 19-20, 36-38, 60-49, 79-68