Coming off a disappointing 79-85 loss to the San Sebastian Golden Stags, the College of Saint Benilde Blazers literally ran past the Mapua Unievrsity Cardinals, 90-79, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“I guess, it was first-game jitters,” second-year Saint Benilde head coach TY Tang shared. “I’m happy with the win but there a lot of things we should clean up.”
Both teams are now sporting 1-1 cards.
After being handed a team-imposed punishment last Friday, Yankie Haruna bounced back, finishing with 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
“All I know is that my role is to give energy to my team on both ends. Like coach said, we have to play with a lot of energy,” added Haruna.
Behind Noah Lugo, the Cardinals rallied back from 11 down to tie the game at 71-all with 6:29 left. But the Blazers answered right back by outwitting the Cardinals on offense, while locking down on defense.
The Blazers easily broke the pressing defense of the Cardinals with a bevy of outlet passes that led to easy baskets. Utilizing this, Saint Benilde went on a game-breaking 17-0 run sparked by a Jimboy Pasturan triple and capped by a Haruna layup.
Filipino-American rookie Justin Gutang had 17 points and 10 assists, while Edward Dixon added 13 markers.
Lugo, a transferee from Lyceum, had 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Christian Bunag added 11 points and eight rebounds.
But this was not the only battle the Blazers had to go through for the day.
“At around 9:30, I got some calls about not being able to get out of their dorm. They just could not get out of their rooms,” Tang shared.
The team could only leave their dorm along Taft Avenue at around 11:00am.
Saint Benilde look to ride their momentum from this game when they face the San Beda Red Lions (1-0) on Tuesday, July 24. Mapua, on the other hand, will face the Lyceum Pirates (2-0) on Friday, July 27. Both games will be played at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
CSB 90 – Haruna 19, Gutang 17, Dixon 13, Leutcheu 8, Pasturan 8, Naboa 6, Domingo 6, Carlos 5, Young 5, Nayve 3, Barnes 0, Velasco 0
MU 79 – Serrano 14, Lugo 14, Bunag 11, Pelayo 8, Bonifacio 8, Jabel 8, Victoria 6, Aguirre 6, Gamboa 3, Salenga 1, Biteng 0, Pajarillo 0
Quarterscores: 15-15, 46-36, 61-59, 90-79