Filoil: Blazers relish physical game in win over Growling Tigers
Bodies crashed, tempers flared and players were ejected in an intense duel between College of St. Benilde and University of Santo Tomas on Tuesday.
It was just the kind of game the Blazers needed and they won it too.
“It was a very physical game out there,” said CSB head coach TY Tang after a 99-87 victory in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup. “That’s one thing that we also need. This kind of environment is gonna help us toughen up.”
The Blazers improved to 5-0, but not before surviving a grueling game with the Growling Tigers applying fullcourt pressure for majority of the game and roughening them up with their scrappy play.
The game got testy early with CSB guard RR Pagulayan and UST playmaker Marvin Lee getting under each other’s skin and it continued in the second half where Pagulayan got ejected after getting called for an unsportsmanlike foul and technical late in the third quarter.
UST’s Ira Battaler also got tossed in the same sequence.
With emotions on a high, CSB found a way to keep its focus on winning behind Clement Leutcheu, Edward Dixon and JJ Domingo.
Minus the injured Steve Akomo, the Tigers had no one to match up with Leutcheu, who dominated with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
Dixon added 16 points and four assists while Domingo had 14 points and six rebounds.
“It’s been a while since we had this kind of physical match and it’s a great experience for us,” said Tang.
“The only thing I told the players is you gotta be mentally tough out there. Being able to play within the environment and still be able to win and I think we handled that well.”
Kenneth Zamora led UST with 22 points built on five 3-pointers while Zachary Huang and Marvin Lee added 21 and 19 points, respectively.
The Tigers also missed the services of Renzo Subido, who is nursing an ankle injury.