The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers faltered against the San Beda University (SBU) Red Lions, 61-65, to claim their sixth loss in NCAA Season 99, today, Nov. 15, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
A series of buckets by the Red Lions trampled the Blazers to an early eight-point deficit, 2-10. Despite trailing early, reigning NCAA MVP Will Gozum made sure to keep the Taft squad afloat after scoring six early points of his own, 8-10. The game would be tightly contested in the latter part of the period. After baskets between both squads, the Blazers would take the lead to end the period after a crafty finish from Prince Carlos, 13-12.
The second quarter saw both teams battle it out offensively; for the Blazers it was Miguel Corteza and Nayve who steered the offense of the Taft squad, while it was Nygel Gonzales and Yukien Andrada who headed the charge for the Red Lions. Both squads couldn’t pull away from each other, causing a series of lead changes and deadlocks throughout the period. The Blazers would secure the lead to end the period after a Robi Nayve jumper, 32-29.
Determined to fully pull away from the latter, the second half was greeted with seamless plays from both teams, although midway through the period, it was a showdown between Blazers’ guard Miguel Oczon and San Beda star guard Jacob Cortez—who nailed jumpers over one another. Cortez would convert consecutive and-one plays, while Oczon made back-to-back fall-away jumpers. Despite the showing from the star guards, the period ended with both squads even at 45 all.
The final canto saw a series of lead changes and deadlocks that continued to pile up the stat sheet as both teams couldn’t hold on to lasting leads. A series of hustle plays from Jomel Puno and a clutch three from San Beda team captain Peter Alfaro helped the Red Lions to secure a four-point lead with a minute left on the clock. The Blazers would try to answer back in the final minute, but the Red Lions’ defense ultimately stopped them, 61-65.
Gozum led the Blazers after dropping 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks alongside an assist, and a steal. Cajucom also ended with double figures scoring 13 points of his own.
The Benilde Blazers will be facing NCAA 98 champions, the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán (CSJL) Knights, next on Nov. 19 at the same venue. The game will be available to watch live on NCAA Philippines’ Facebook and YouTube pages.
DLS-CSB (61): Gozum 16, Cajucom 13, Carlos 8, Nayve 7, Corteza 6, Oczon 5, Arciaga 2, Sangco 2, Turco 2, Marcos 0, Mara 0, Jarque 0
SBU (65): Andrada 22, Cortez 15, Alfaro 7, Payosing 7, Gonzales 5, Puno 4, Tagle 3, Jopia 2, Cuntapay 0, Visser 0, Royo 0