‘Vocal leader’ sparks Blazers’ victory over Chiefs
Robi Nayve came up clutch in Saint Benilde’s 76-71 victory over Arellano on Saturday, its second straight win in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at La Salle Greenhills
Nayve buried the dagger triple that gave the Blazers a 73-70 lead as the team continued to rise from an opening-day loss. Nayve went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and had three rebounds.
“Robi has really been great,” said Blazers coach Charles Tiu, whose wards put up a solid showing against defending champion Letran to start its bid this season.
“I trust him so much. He emerged as our leader in the offseason. In the (training) bubble, he has been one of the vocal guys. He is our co-captain because he earned it,” he added.
“I have no doubts about his offense. From the start, I really knew this is gonna be a big year for him. I was gonna give him every opportunity to make plays and I’m thankful that he is making plays.”
St. Benilde’s Will Gozum came through with 17 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out in the final 33.2 seconds while Miggy Corteza added 10 points.
Justin Arana returned after missing the previous match due to a right knee sprain but his efforts were not enough to bring the Chiefs back to the win column.
Arana forced the game’s final deadlock at 70-70 but Arellano was held to a single point in the last 1:06.
Arana tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Chiefs, who dropped to 1-2.
A coast-to-coast lay-up by Arana at the 9:06 mark of the opening period proved that he was good to go.
Kobe Bryant Caballero took the scoring mantle for Arellano with 15 points while Axel Doromal and Gelo Sablan chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
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