After a rousing start to their NCAA Season 95 campaign, the College of Saint Benilde Blazers were forced to hit the sidelines as two of their next games were suspended due to inclement weather.
However, it may have turned out as a positive thing for sophomore guard Justin Gutang and the rest of the Blazers.
“The rainstorm or the flooding really did help us ’cause not only did I got injured but some of the guys as well got injured especially during practice,” said Gutang following their 82-77 victory against the Arellano University Chiefs last Tuesday.
“So the two weeks off got us all back together, playing together.”
“I really couldn’t do anything for the first week, the second week it was getting better like I could do a little bit shooting ane after that I just kept strengthening and doing conditioning,” he shared.
The Blazers’ three-week layoff definitely did wonders for Gutang as it helped him to recover in time for their match against the Legarda-based squad.
Gutang fired 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the field while also tallying seven boards, five assists, and two steals to power Benilde to its best start in school history with an immaculate 5-0 slate.
Despite logging in 26 minutes in the game, Gutang admitted that the injury is still bothering him on the hardcourt – specifically when he soared high for an open alley-oop dunk which he failed to convert.
“I missed the alley-oop dunk so it’s not at full strength yet so I gotta keep working on it,” bared Gutang.
Even with their best start yet in history, the do-it-all forward believes that the Blazers’ real acid test will be on Friday when they face Season 94 runners-up Lyceum Pirates.
“It’s a testament for us mentally, physically, everything. We know what we’re capable of,” said Gutang.
“We played against LPU about four times already, the past summer in preseason so we already know how they play and it just comes down to our mental strength and our poise on the court.”