Taha makes resurgent Blazers tick
PLAYING with youthful exuberance, Paolo Taha has given St. Benilde a boost in its bid to turn its campaign around in the NCAA basketball tournament.
With Taha at the forefront of their resurgence, the Blazers have climbed their way out of the cellar and into Final Four contention near the end of the first round.
The senior guard from Marikina averaged 16.33 points in the Blazers’ last three games, including a season-high 24 point in their 84-64 rout of the Mapua Cardinals last Saturday.
The performance against the Cardinals was Taha’s finest of the season as he also finished with 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
St. Benilde coach Gabby Velasco was all praises for the muscular guard, who set the tone in the rout of the Cardinals with his steady all-around play.
“He’s one of the leaders of this team and I expect him to have those kinds of games,” Velasco said of Taha, who was named the ACCEL/3XVI NCAA Press Corps Player of Week.
Taha bested his teammate Mark Romero and Perpetual Help’s Juneric Baloria and Nigerian Nosa Omorogbe for the Gatorade-backed weekly plum.
The Blazers have gone on a three-game winning run to move into a share of sixth place with the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals on 3-5 (win-loss) records.
Reigning champion San Beda and last year’s runner-up Letran lead the league with similar 7-1 slates followed by Perpetual (6-2), Jose Rizal (5-3) and San Sebastian (4-4).
The Blazers lost their first five games by a combined seven points.