College of Saint Benilde averted a huge late-game collapse, taking an 86-78 win against Arellano University in Group A of the Filoil EcoOil 15th Preseason Cup, Wednesday morning in San Juan City.
The Blazers improved to a 5-3 win-loss record in the group and clinched a quarterfinals berth, while the Chiefs remained at eighth place with 1-5.
Cade Flores and Danielle Mallari tried to quell a rally early in the third quarter for Arellano, but the likes of Migs Oczon and Chris Flores’ consecutive treys continued the momentum, helping the Blazers gain an 18- point lead, 65-47, entering the fourth quarter.
The hot shooting from CSB continued in the fourth period as Jimboy Pasturan and Oczon registered back-to-back treys and the lead ballooned to as high as 20, 75-55, at the 6:20 mark of the quarter.
The Chiefs then went for a huge 12-0 run to cut this deficit to eight, 67-75, with 4:15 remaining ending with back-to-back baskets from Flores and another from Troy Valencia.
“Actually, I didn’t tell them anything. But they’re about to get it in the locker [room] after the game. Because you know, they took the game for granted. You can’t do that, you’re not that good of a team na you think you’re better than your opponent, that you play hard for three quarters then you let up five minutes,” said CSB head coach Charles Tiu said of that meltdown from his wards.
“You saw, I was ready to lose the game. No plans to call a timeout if Arellano made their run. Little things like those we have to figure it out because it’s part of our culture to teach the guys to value every possession. And you can’t be overconfident, you can’t be complacent, because why, we haven’t accomplished anything, anywhere. So, we have to stick to what has been working for us and play the right way every time,” he added.
Fortunately for the Blazers, Pasturan took over. He snapped the drought with a huge triple and then stole Mallari’s errant pass for a layup, restoring order and sealing the win for good, 80-67, with 3:20 left in the game.
Miggy Corteza balled out for Benilde, registering 14 points, five rebounds, and a steal. Ozon and Pasturan each scored a total of 11 points with the former having three rebounds and three assists and the latter adding a rebound and two assists.
On the other hand, Flores had an incredible double-double performance of 26 points and 14 rebounds to go along with five assists to pace Arellano. Troy Valencia chipped 11 markers, six boards, and three assists.
The Chiefs will go up against University of the Philippines on Thursday at 5:00 P.M. still at the same venue.
CSB 86 — Corteza 14, Oczon 11, Pasturan 11, Flores 9, Mosqueda 9, Gozum 8, Sangco 6, Carlos 4, Marcos 4, Cullar 3, Cajucom 3, Sumabat 2, Mara 2, Davis 0, Serrano 0, Nayve 0.
Arellano 78 — Flores 26, Oliva 12, Valencia 11, Doromal 8, Mallari 7, Tolentino 5, Oftana 5, Talampas 2, Sunga 2, Travis 0, Punzalan 0, Ongolan 0, Menina 0, Tan 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18, 37-30, 65-47, 86-78.
The entire 2022 Filoil Ecooil Preseason Cup will stream LIVE on Smart Sports Facebook page