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Filoil: Benilde finally solves Letran; La Salle goes 3-0


College of St. Benilde, finally, found a way to overcome NCAA tormentor Colegio de San Juan de Letran, with Migs Oczon leading the way late in their 78-66 win on Wednesday at Filoil EcoOil Center in San Juan.

This highly anticipated matchup in the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup marked the first meeting between the two teams since the Knights defeated the Blazers in the NCAA Season 98 championship.

Early on, it seemed like a repeat of the finals, as Letran took a 12-point lead, 44-32, early in the third quarter.

However, three points from Oczon ignited an 8-0 run that tied the game.

The Knights managed to hold on to a two-point lead, 57-55, entering the final quarter until Oczon once again spearheaded a 20-4 surge that put Benilde ahead, 75-61, with less than three minutes remaining.

The Blazers maintained their lead until the end, securing a 3-1 record in Group I of the premier preseason tournament supported by Filoil, EcoOil, Hanes, Akari, Reyes BBQ, BDO, Kalos Sportswear, and Molten.

When asked if he felt satisfied after winning this NCAA finals rematch, coach Charles Tiu responded, “Not really, kasi iba na yung team nila. You can tell they were also giving everybody a chance. I’m actually happier we found a way to win without [Miggy] Corteza.”

Oczon finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Felipe Marasigan contributed 14 points, two rebounds, two steals, and two assists, helping overcome the absence of versatile wing player Corteza.

Robi Nayve and Prince Carlos combined for 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four steals.

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“For me, it’s just another game. ‘Di pa ‘to yung NCAA e, and yung mindset ko lang lagi is same lang. It’s a way for me to just stick to the process,” said the veteran guard, downplaying any measure of revenge in the victory.

Despite the best efforts of Kobe Monje, who had 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, and Nicko Fajardo, who had 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists, the Knights dropped to a 1-1 record.

De La Salle University, on the other hand, defeated another UAAP rival, Adamson University, with EJ Gollena’s clutch plays and Kevin Quiambao’s all-around brilliance leading the way to a 77-67 victory.

Quiambao posted 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals, scoring all but four points in the Taft-based team’s 11-0 start that led to a wire-to-wire win in Group 1.

Coach Topex Robinson expressed, “This tournament gives us a lot of learning opportunities. We were already leading, but made some bad decisions. Good thing we were able to recover.”

The Green Archers secured their third win in as many games.

Despite missing Jerom Lastimosa and Joem Sabandal, the Soaring Falcons were able to come as close as four points, 63-67, inside the last four minutes. However, EJ Gollena fired eight of his 17 points to repel Adamson’s comeback attempts.

Cedrick Manzano and Matty Erolon stepped up for Adamson, each contributing 15 points in their third loss out of four games.

Lyceum of the Philippines University overcame the absence of their “Big Three” to hold off San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 73-66.

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Simon Penafiel started in place of Enoch Valdez and put up 14 points and six rebounds, while Renz Villegas contributed 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists of his own to help the Pirates overcome absent Mac Guadana and John Barba to improve to 2-2 in Group I.

In the first game, University of the East went streaking, while also sending newcomer Faith Colleges of Batangas to its fourth loss in as many games, 119-64.

Noy Remogat continued his stellar play with 20 points, four assists, and three rebounds, as the Red Warriors scored no less than 26 points in every quarter.

Josh Alcantara and Ryzel Gilbuena also added 12 points apiece in their back-to-back wins following a tournament-opening loss in Group II.

Lance Villamor paced the 0-4 Bravehearts with 13 points, while Rommel Calahat led the 1-4 Golden Stags with 15 points.

The Scores:

First Game:
UE 119 – Remogat 20, Gilbuena 12, Alcantara 12, Lingo-Lingo 9, Maglupay 8, Jackson 8, Palaroan 8, Rosete 8, Maga 7, Tomas 6, Paranada 5, De Leon 5, Manalang 3, Soriano 3, Pacheco 3, Pong 0
FAITH 64 – Villamor 13, De Castro 10, Llamado 8, JG Torrato 6, Millares 6, JM Torrato 6, Paguio 5, Amparo 4, Navarez 4, Fernado 2, Quiroz 0, Laylo 0
Quarterscores: 32-17, 59-31, 95-52, 119-64

Second Game:
LPU 73 – Villegas 14, Penafiel 14, Montano 9, Omandac 9, Fuentes 8, Aviles 6, Daileg 5, Umali 3, Moralejo 3, Cunanan 2, Alattica 0, Versoza 0, Garro 0
San Sebastian 66 – Calahat 15, Are 11, Una 10, RA Gabat 8, Desoyo 6, Aguilar 6, Felebrico 4, RL Gabat 4, Pascual 2, Paglinawan 0, Concha 0, Barroga 0, Velasco 0
Quarterscores: 18-16, 37-28, 58-46, 73-66

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Third Game:
DLSU 77 – Gollena 17, Quiambao 15, Nonoy 15, Policarpio 10, Nelle 7, Abadam 4, Austria 2, Cortez 2, Melencio 2, Buensalida 2, Nwankwo 1, Escandor 0, David 0, Alao 0
Adamson 67 – Erolon 15, Manzano 15, Calisay 12, Yerro 6, Canete 5, Magbuhos 4, Montebon 4, Barasi 3, Ignacio 2, Anabo 1, Colonia 0
Quarterscores: 29-15, 40-30, 57-47, 77-67

Fourth Game:
Benilde 78 – Oczon 15, Marasigan 14, Nayve 12, Carlos 10, Flores 8, Jarque 7, Lepalam 5, Serrano 3, Cajucom 2, Corteza 2, Sangco 0, Turco 0, Baliquig 0, Sumabat 0, Dimayuga 0
Letran 66 – Monje 16, Fajardo 13, Cuajao 9, Santos 9, Guarino 6, Reyson 5, Go 2, Bojorcelo 2, Nunag 2, Laquindanum 2, Tolentino 0, Miclat 0, Ariar 0, Brillantes 0
Quarterscores: 18-19, 31-38, 55-57, 78-66

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