The San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags are coming off a high from their win against the San Beda Red Lions. However, the side effect of this was that fatigue would set in when they would play the College of Saint Benilde Blazers two days later. It proved true as the CSB Blazers ran past the San Sebastian Stags, 69-62, early Thursday evening at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
After a 14-all deadlock to end the first quarter, the Quiapo-based squad were led by Jeick Fabian to storm right back into the game. Moreover, Bradwyn Guinto powered his way into the paint in scoring five second quarter points while grabbing a handful of rebounds to gain a 30-27 lead entering the second half.
In the third canto, point guard Gerard Castor led his team to gain the lead for the Blazers. The guard penetrated the paint and dished out to open teammates for a 33-32 lead. Grey then exploded in grabbing fouls and converting on free throws to extend the lead in a 5-2 run. However, ticky-tack fouls were called on the Benilde players that resulted to free throws for Alvin Capobres and Jamil Ortuoste to end the quarter with Benilde leading 51-45.
In the final quarter, fatigue set in for the Stags as the green-and-white squad ran past their opponents. After cutting the lead to just four after a Guinto layup with 5:52 remaining, Grey launched a furious 10-2 run all by himself. The rally started with a long three-point bomb by the Laguna-native and highlighted with a spin move that faked out Guinto and Capobres that resulted to a layup. The Benilde lead grew to a game-high nine points with 2:42 remaining. A tired Stags squad could not convert on offense and not set themselves up on defense in the closing minutes of the game as the Blazers held on for a 69-62 win.
“Ang referee wina-warningan na kami na si Grey is always carrying the ball,” a furious coach Gabby Velasco opened the postgame scrum. “Jamil Ortuoste is doing the same! Kaya naiinis ako kasi ang referee mindset is always on Grey.” Beyond that, Velasco was proud of what Grey did today. “Grey really played well. In fact, medyo sinagad ko siya. He really played his heart out,” he said.
Finally, with just two games remaining, Velasco promised the CSB faithful that they will be playing hard in their last few games, not just for this season but to build on the next four seasons. “Yun naman yung goal namin is to get everyone involved for our future. Every game, we’ll try to compete and win as much.”
For the victors, Smart Elite ambassador Jonathan Grey led the Blazers with 25 points on 10/21 shooting. JR Ongteco added 19 points and 7 boards.
On the other hand, Smart Elite ambassador Bradwyn Guinto recorded a double-double with 19 points and 15 boards while Jeick Fabian added 14 points, four boards, and four assists.
As a team, the Stags shot better from the field at 46% compared to the Blazers’ 36% but the Blazers had 13 transition points that proved to be the main difference in the game.
The CSB Blazers (4-12) will have the Lyceum Pirates next on their slate on Thursday, October 1 at 2:00pm while the Stags (5-11) face Final Four-contenders, the Perpetual Altas, on Tuesday, September 29 at 2:00pm.
CSB (69) – Grey 25, Ongteco 19, Domingo JJ 10, Castor 8, Domingo JS 4, Young 3, Jonson 0, Nayve 0, Deles 0, Sta Maria 0, Saavedra 0, Flores 0, Dixon 0, San Juan 0
SSCR (62) – Guinto 19, Fabian 14, Capobres 13, Calisaan 9, Ortuoste 3, Costelo 2, Bulanadi 2, Bragais 0, Santos 0, Pretta 0
Quarters: 14-14, 27-30, 51-45, 69-62.
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