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Basketball

NCAA 98: EAC gets breakthrough win, slays Benilde in massive upset


Emilio Aguinaldo College notched its breakthrough win in the NCAA Season 98 Seniors Basketball Tournament in the biggest way possible.

Behind Nat Cosejo, the Generals stunned the league-leading College of Saint Benilde, 80-75, in the biggest upset of the collegiate season so far, Sunday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

The Generals (1-9) are now in the win column. The Blazers on the other hand dropped to 7-2.

It was a close contest all throughout that went down the wire.

Right after entering the final two-minute mark, Ralph Bajon was able to give EAC the lead after a reverse layup followed by an Adrian Balowa two free throw to boost its lead to three, 76-73 with 1:27 left.

Mark Sangco was able to answer back but Nat Cosejo dropped his 24th point on the next possession with 48.7-ticks remaining, 78-75.

Coming off a timeout, in the final 10 seconds of the game, Migs Oczon airballed a triple, and then JP Maguliano sealed the victory by hitting his two free throws.

“We were not expecting that the game was gonna be close. But sabi ko nga sa interview before, that we’re gonna give a big challenge for the number one team and we are here for the big upset na tinatawag,” said EAC head coach Oliver Bunyi.

“I think we have prepared well especially yung mindset ng mga players namin. Physically di na masyado because the preparation was too short for this game,” recalling their loss against San Sebastian to end their first round.

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Just last season, the Blazers also lost to a winless team in Jose Rizal University which cost them problems in the standings came playoff time.

Cosejo shot the lights out with 24 points on an efficient 64.7-percent shooting together with nine rebounds, an assist, and a block. Bajon and Balowa added 16 and 10 markers a piece with the former adding three boards, a dime, and two steals, while the latter provided six rebounds and three assists.

Also for EAC, Maguliano finished with 10 rebounds, six points, and two assists.

Will Gozum led the Blazers with 19 points, but only scored two in the second half. He also added nine rebounds, an assist, and a block. Rob Nayve had 13 markers and seven boards, while James Pasturan had 11 markers and six boards.

Migs Oczon struggled in the scoring department on this one with six points on 1-of-12 shooting from the field.

Next up for EAC is Lyceum of the Philippines University (7-3) on Wednesday at 3 PM. CSB will look to bounce back against Mapua University (2-8) on the same day at 12 NN.

The Scores:

EAC 80 — Cosejo 24, Bajon 16, Balowa 10, Liwag 10, Maguliano 6, Cosa 5, Dominguez 5, Ad. Doria 4, Quinal 0, Luciano 0, An. Doria 0, Tolentino 0.

CSB 75 — Gozum 19, Nayve 13, Pasturan 11, Corteza 8, Oczon 6, Sangco 6, Lim 6, Cullar 2, Carlos 2, Marcos 2, Flores 0, Mara 0, Lepalam 0, Davis 0.

Quarterscores: 19-18, 39-40, 57-59, 80-75.

Written By

Writer. Letranite. Basketball nerd and a life-long Los Angeles Lakers fan. My love for sports brought me here.


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