CSB takes on winless Mapua
The past two games were chippy for the College of St. Benilde Blazers.
Playing on enemy territory, they expect the same brutish treatment when the Blazers face the slumping Mapua Cardinals on Thursday in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament.
“Every time Mapua plays at home, they are tough to beat,” Benilde head coach TY Tang said. “A big gym filled with students, it will definitely give them a big boost.”
The Blazers, however, survived in situations much worse than the homecourt advantage that the Cardinals can take advantage of.
Against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, they squandered a big lead and were lucky to reclaim their pride—and control of the match—in the end.
In command for long stretches opposite the Perpetual Help Altas, the Blazers had to endure the 57 fouls slapped on both ends before squeezing past their rivals.
“Hopefully, we can build a lead from the start. If not, it’s going to be another tough game for us,” Tang said.
Coming off a series of setbacks, the Cardinals (0-3) would love to exploit the leverage
on their floor despite the manpower edge of the unbeaten Blazers (2-0).
Forward Yankie Haruna is still on the CSB injury list, but guys like Justin Gutang, Carlo Young, Kendrix Belgica, Edward Dixon and Chris Flores are ready to bang it up.
Inherited by juniors champion coach Randy Alcantara from Atoy Co, Mapua is a work in progress relying on NCAA junior Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez, Cyril Gonzales and rookie Noah Lugo.