NCAA: San Sebastian frustrates winless St. Benilde

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MANILA, Philippines—San Sebastian compounded St. Benilde’s woes with an 80-78 triumph Thursday night in the NCAA season 89 men’s basketball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.

The Stags snatched the final lead with 31.5 seconds left after six straight markers dealing the Blazers yet another heart-breaking loss this season.

The Blazers have lost their last five games with a combined total of seven points, as they were always decided down the stretch.

“There’s a lot of pressure because our opponent hasn’t won in four game, and they’re determined to get that win against us,” said coach Raymond Valenzona, who took over the coaching reins in this game with head coach Topex Robinson is in the United States with Alaska.

San Sebastian also played St. Benilde’s tendency to collapse late in the game, holding the winless Blazers scoreless in the last 2:19 of the game.

“We made sure to follow what coach Topex left us. Our defense won the game for us today,” also said Valenzona in Filipino.

Jamil Ortouste led the Stags with 23 points, six rebounds and five assists while CJ Perez had 17 points —including a go-ahead triple with 3:43 to play—along with 10 boards.

Jonathan Grey and Paolo Taha scored back-to-back points to give them 78-74 lead, but that was the last the Blazers would score.

St. Benilde had ample chances to stretch their lead after turnovers by San Sebastian, and even got the last shot but Taha misfired on the OT-forging layup.

Taha paced the Blazers with 21 points, Grey added 17 while Roberto Bartolo chipped in 12 and 11 boards.

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