College of Saint Benilde staged a huge second-half comeback, turning back San Beda University, 82-73, to seal the second seed in the NCAA Season 98 Seniors Basketball Tournament, Tuesday at Filoil Ecooil Centre in San Juan City.
This is the first time the Blazers have finished in the top two in the elimination round since Season 78. They finish the round with a 14-4 record.
Mark Sangco was the main protagonist for the Blazers, tallying a career-high 19 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds.
On the other hand, the Red Lions fell down to the fourth spot with a 12-6 win-loss record.
Leading by three at the start of the fourth quarter, Sangco and Miggy Corteza made baskets to carry the Blazers to a 14-point cushion, 74-60.
From there CSB never looked back. They scored a total of nine points in that quarter courtesy of Migs Oczon, Will Gozum, and Jimboy Pasturan in the last 6 minutes of the game.
The Blazers dominated the field of the second half with 17-of-32 shooting.
“I’m happy and thankful to the lord that we… have at least a twice-to-beat advantage. It’s gonna be big because it doesn’t matter that we beat this team (San Beda) in the elimination — zero-zero all yan sa semis, and iba ‘yung pressure nun,” said Blazers head coach Charles Tiu.
“So I don’t the guys how will respond. But, at least, we worked hard to be in this position, so it’s a good feeling kahit papaano,” he added.
The Red Lions were held by 22 points in the second half with only 8-of-31 shooting from the field and a total of 13 turnovers. Still, San Beda managed to get as close as 7 off a JB Bahio freebie, 73-80, with 1:35 left in the payoff period.
Earlier in the game, the Red Lions exploded in the first half with 51 points. Then they upped their lead by 13 points off a Bahio jumper at the 8:36 mark of the third quarter.
James Kwuketye exited the game due to cramps with 2:15 left in the game.
Two Blazers were able to get a double-double. Gozum posted 15 points, 10 rebounds, an assist, and a steal; meanwhile, Oczon flirted with nine markers, 10 boards, two blocks, and a steal.
Corteza and Pasturan were the other two in double digits for CSB. The former contributed 15 markers, four boards, an assist, and a block, and the latter added 13 points, two rebounds, and six assists.
James Kwuketeye saw himself held down to one point in the second half on a cold 0-for-5 shooting clip. Still, he scored 17 in first half, along with three boards, six assists, and a steal.
Bahio notched a double-double of 18 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and a steal, while Gab Cometa produced 12 points, three rebounds, and an assist.
Damie Cuntapay added 10 rebounds to go with three points, but fouled out while jockeying for the rebound inside the paint against Corteza at the 4:21 mark of the payoff period.
CSB 82 — Sangco 19, Gozum 15, Corteza 15, Pasturan 13, Oczon 9, Carlos 5, Cullar 2, Nayve 2, Lepalam 2, Marcos 0, Davis 0.
San Beda 73 –– Bahio 18, Kwekuteye 18, Cometa 12, Andrada 6, Cortez 6, Ynot 4, Alfaro 4, Cuntapay 3, Sanchez 2, Visser 0.
Quarterscores: 26-26, 42-51, 63-60, 82-73.