Coming off an opening day loss to the Lyceum Pirates, the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags overwhelmed the young College of Saint Benilde Blazers late to pick up an 85-78 win, Friday afternoon.
“Well, the boys really wanted to win. Nakita naman natin yung intensity nila for the whole game,” said San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya. “Pero credit din to Benilde, hindi na sila parang yung team dati. They are improving a lot. Wala akong masasabi ngayon kung hindi gusto lang namin manalo.”
Michael Calisaan and RK Ilagan were the ones who made sure to list this one up for the Golden Stags. Calisaan had 18 points and 10 rebounds while RK Ilagan had 16 points, spiked by four triples.
“That is why they are called veterans. Nakikita niyo yung composure nila,” Macaraya shared. “This time, pinakita nila na kaya nilang dalhin yung team. I guess, Michael was playing good because everyone was sharing the ball. Good thing about the team is marunong na sila manalo.”
With the game knotted at 70-all, Arjan dela Cruz sparked the Golden Stags, while Calisaan and Ilagan provided cushion. An Ilagan find to Calisaan gave San Sebastian a six-point lead, 80-74, with 3:07 remaining.
Justin Gutang and Yankie Haruna could not convert late, while an Ilagan triple extended San Sebastian’s lead to nine points with 1:36 left.
“Alam niyo naman yung mga nangyari sa team. Everytime na nagha-huddle kami, we always talk about stepping up. The boys understand now na wala na sila, walang tutulong sa amin na kami lang magtutulong tulong,” added Macaraya.
Allyn Bulanadi chipped in 13 points but shot just 4-for-15 from the field.
Edward Dixon paced Benilde with 12 points, while Haruna added 10 markers. However, Justin Gutang struggled in his debut scoring just eight points on 2-for-7 shooting.
Clement Leutcheu only played in the second half.
San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Letran Knights on Friday, July 20. Saint Benilde, on the other hand, face the Mapua Cardinals on the same day. The games will be held at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
SSC-R 85 – Calisaan 18, Ilagan 16, Bulanadi 13, Calma 10, Capobres 7, Villapando 7, Dela Cruz 6, Are 4, Sumoda 4, Desoyo 0, Valdez 0.
CSB 78 – Dixon 12, Haruna 10, Pasturan 9, Gutang 8, Belgica 6, Leutcheu 6, Young 6, Carlos 5, Naboa 5, Velasco 4, Pagulayan 3, Domingo 2, Nayve 2, Barnes 0.
Quarterscores: 24-27, 44-44, 63-64, 85-78.