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NCAA 99: Blazing guards lift Benilde past Perpetual for solo fifth


College of Saint Benilde secured a hard-fought 86-80 victory against University of Perpetual Help System DALTA to secure its first winning streak in the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Tuesday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.

It was the Blazers’ four guards who paved the way for their second straight win.

Robi Nayve took charge for Benilde with 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists, shooting efficiently at 54.5-percent from the field.

Oczon, meanwhile, continued his strong performance from the previous game against San Sebastian, scoring 19 points against the Altas. Ray Carlos and Joshua Cajucom contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Blazers head coach Charles Tiu commented, “I thought they played a bit unselfishly in the third quarter. Credit to guys like Robi, but we were moving the ball, we were attacking and making good reads. That’s nothing to do with me, that’s on the players making the plays.”

After a closely contested first half, the Blazers emerged from halftime firing on all cylinders, scoring 29 points in the third quarter alone.

This third-quarter surge allowed the Blazers to build a lead of as much as 20 points, 75-55, after a three-pointer from Miguel Oczon with 7:28 remaining in the final frame.

Despite facing a substantial deficit, the Altas refused to give up. They launched a 16-3 run to narrow their gap to within single digits, 78-71, after a pair of free throws from Marcus Nitura with 1:20 left in the game.

Perpetual eventually ran out of time to complete their comeback as Benilde managed to hold onto its lead.

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Tiu expressed his frustration over his team’s struggles to close out the game in the final minutes, saying, “I was happy for the first three-plus quarters until the fourth quarter. I don’t know what we’re doing. The guys get careless, they think the game is over.

“We’re doing stupid things. We can’t follow instructions – we’re not gonna go anywhere if we play that way.”

Reigning MVP Will Gozum faced early foul trouble in the match, finishing with only six points in 18 minutes of action. Miguel Corteza handled the frontcourt load in his absence with six points and 11 boards.

With this win, the Blazers improved to a 3-3 record, climbing to the fifth spot in the standings just behind San Beda University. They will face Arellano University on Sunday at 2:40 PM.

Art Roque played a key role for the Altas, scoring 24 points and grabbing six rebounds. Christian Pagaran contributed 16 points, making all nine of his free throw attempts.

Marcus Nitura came close to a triple-double with 15 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists but also had six turnovers.

The Altas now have a 1-4 record, tied with Arellano University, and will look ahead to their next game against San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Friday at 2:00 PM.


The Scores:

CSB 86 – Nayve 20, Oczon 19, Carlos 13, Cajucom 12, Corteza 6, Gozum 6, Turco 4, Sangco 3, Arciaga 2, Marcos 1, Jarque 0, Marasigan 0, Mara 0

UPHSD 80 – Roque 24, Pagaran 16, Nitura 15, Omega 12, Abis 8, Barcuma 2, Ferreras 2, Razon 1, Cuevas 0, Boral 0, Gelsano 0, Nunez 0, Orgo 0

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Quarterscores: 19-18; 39-35; 68-54; 86-80

Written By

Vito Martin is a sportswriter from the Philippines. In 2023, he graduated from the Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in BS Psychology. He wrote for Ateneo’s official school publication The GUIDON, where he covered basketball, football, baseball, badminton, and other collegiate sports. He is a life-long fan of the Boston Celtics and an avid follower of the NBA


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