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Tiebreaker Times


UAAP ‘rejects’ find home in Tiu’s Benilde

Over the past six years, the NCAA has seen a drastic shift in how to build a championship team.

It all started in Season 92 when San Beda University was able to get the transfer commitments of De La Salle University’s Robert Bolick and Ateneo de Manila University’s Kemark Carino and Clint Doliguez.UAAP-Season-77-DLSU-Robert-Bolick UAAP 'rejects' find home in Tiu's Benilde Basketball CSB NCAA News  - philippine sports news

A season later, Lyceum of the Philippines University amped it up when it got Ateneo’s CJ Perez, National University’s Toci Tansingco, and Adamson University’s Jayvee and Jaycee Marcelino and surrounded them with ex-San Sebastian College-Recoletos players.2015-Filoil-ADMU-def-CSJL-CJ-Perez UAAP 'rejects' find home in Tiu's Benilde Basketball CSB NCAA News  - philippine sports news

From season 95 to the current one, Colegio de San Juan de Letran followed the same formula, netting the likes of UE’s Fran Yu and Bonbon Batiller; La Salle’s Larry Muyang; and UST’s Rhenz Abando and Brent Paraiso to form their core that led the Knights to two straight championships.UAAP-78-UE-def-ADU-Fran-Yu UAAP 'rejects' find home in Tiu's Benilde Basketball CSB NCAA News  - philippine sports news

And that was the pattern College of Saint Benilde followed.

In this batch of Blazers, they paraded the likes of Will Gozum (UP), Miggy Corteza (DLSU), Migs Oczon (NU), JC Cullar (UE), Jimboy Pasturan (Adamson), and Macoy Marcos (UST).

Though Season 97 was a nightmare by all accounts, Season 98 was magical.

And according to Charles Tiu, motivating his Blazers was easy. It came natural.

“Actually a bunch of our guys that are playing right now was… I wouldn’t say ‘rejects’ but that’s what I tell them that, ‘You know, you guys were cut by your school for one reason or another,” he told GMA7’s Howie Severino on his podcast.

“That’s why we have something to prove. Let’s prove to everybody that they made mistakes and let you go.'”

Definitely, it fired up the boys.NCAA-98-CSB-vs-SBU-CSB UAAP 'rejects' find home in Tiu's Benilde Basketball CSB NCAA News  - philippine sports news

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Gozum is a man amongst boys this season and is the presumptive MVP.

Corteza has been Benilde’s rock, gobbling up rebounds and swatting away shots on a regular basis.

Cullar has become the heart and soul of the team while Pasturan is starting to grow on his own.

Finally, Marcos has been a steady bench presence for the Blazers.

Of course, the championship is the goal of the squad. And if it ends up in heartbreak, Tiu hopes that Benilde continues to become a home to those who were not able to make it on the other side.

“We really believe in giving guys opportunities to showcase their talents.

“Maybe they just didn’t fit the previous coach, the previous team. Maybe they weren’t given a chance. But we want to develop them and we want to show that they belong and that they can play basketball,” he closed.

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