The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers dominated the Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL) Knights, 72-54, to strengthen their shot in the final four spot at the NCAA Season 99, today, Nov. 19, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
The first frame of the match saw the Blazers trying to unload their offensive power ushered by Prince Carlos and Will Gozum who established Benilde’s early advantage, 10-6. Shortly after, the Blazers entered a shooting drought until team captain Robi Nayve stepped up with back-to-back baskets and halted the Knights from ending the first quarter with a lead, 15-15.
Entering the second quarter, the Taft squad struggled to find their stroke from deep, as offensive lapses on their side fueled the Knights from capitalizing on Benilde’s turnovers. The Blazers started building their stretch after triples from Gozum and Joshua Cajucom and two consecutive baskets from Michael Mara, but sloppy defense and unforced errors quickly blew their six-point advantage and settled for a two-point advantage heading into the second half, 35-33.
Banking on their fiercer defensive efforts, the energized Blazers came out of the halftime break by dominating both ends of the court courtesy of an early basket from Mark Sangco. With Miggy Corteza and Sangco exchanging scores during the final leg of the canto, the Knights started to falter on the offensive end, sending the Blazers to 59-48.
The 11-point advantage of the Blazers quickly ballooned to 15 as they entered the final quarter with effective team plays. Fearlessly, the Knights tried to keep pace with the Blazers after ramping up their defensive effort, but the Blazers started displaying their dominant form with the help of Miguel Oczon’s three successful buckets from the paint. The Taft squad sustained their good playing display until the final minutes of the game, ballooning the lead to 18, 72-54.
Sangco earned his first Player of the Game title this season after soaring with 13 points, two assists, and one steal alongside Corteza who also scored 13 points. Oczon also finished strong with 12 points and four assists.
The Benilde Blazers look to win their final match of the eliminations round, as they face the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals on Nov. 22 at the same venue. The game will be available to watch live on NCAA Philippines’ Facebook and Youtube pages.
DLS-CSB (72): Corteza 13, Sangco 13, Oczon 12, Gozum 9, Cajucom 8, Nayve 5, Mara 4, Marcos 4, Carlos 2, Turco 2, Arciaga 0, Davis 0, Jarque 0, Marasigan 0.
CSJL (54): Monje 18, Cuagao 8, Garupil 8, Javillonar 6, Batallier 5, Santos 4, Bojorcelo 3, Jumao-as 2, Ariar 0, Bautista 0, Go 0