The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers eliminated the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles out of Pinoyliga’s Next Man cUP on Feb. 11 and 12, respectively.
The Blazers were able to advance to the quarter-finals after bludgeoning the UP Fighting Maroons, 92-62, in their last game for the elimination round on Feb. 11 at the Activate Sports Center in Mandaluyong. It was a one-sided game led by Player of the Game, Carlos Sumabat, posting a huge double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds while also registering three steals and a block. Michael Mara also finished in double with a 19-point record.
The following day, on Feb. 12, the Blazers faced the Ateneo Blue Eagles in a knock-out match for the quarterfinals at the same venue. The first frame ended in favor of the Blue Eagles, led by Xavier Tanjangco’s power plays, 17-19. Tanjangco continued to pose a solid composure, making it hard for the Blazers to leave them with a considerable margin. Still, Ray Carlos shone through to pull away from the Katipunan team after several successful shots. The first half ended with a buzzer-beater from Jessie Arciaga, 42-36.
The second half opened with a hard dunk by Sumabat, 44-39. Carlos had to sit out of the game after getting injured, and Cajucom threw in some baskets for Benilde after it was counted as an unsportsmanlike foul against Jean Corral. Ateneo tried to close the gap through the heroic efforts from Tanjangco and Dave Flores in the final quarter, but their team’s sloppy floor defense made it easier for the Taft squad to score more points despite unforced errors, ending the game with a nine-point margin, 74-65. Benilde’s victorious weekend ended after eliminating both Katipunan teams from the league.
Cajucom was named player of the game after chipping in 13 points, six assists, three rebounds, and a couple of steals. Mara and Carlos also score in double digits, 12 and 10, respectively.
The Benilde Blazers will face the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates for the semi-final round of the league.
Schedule and live stream details will be available on Pinoyliga Cup’s Facebook page.