Unbeaten Blazers enter deadly six-day stretch
St. Benilde coach Charles Tiu knows, this early in Season 98 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, that his players can deliver.
The next six days, however, will be a test of his Blazers’ staying power.
“It’s a rough stretch for us and hopefully we can stay healthy,’’ said Tiu as his Blazers play three games in that stretch starting with defending champion Letran on Friday at Filoil EcoOil Centre.
After that, the Blazers, who already own victories over Final Four contenders Lyceum, San Sebastian and Perpetual, battle Jose Rizal on Sunday and Arellano on Wednesday.
Tip-off is at 12 noon before the Altas and Mapua start their climb out of the bottom half of the 10-team field when they clash at 3 p.m.
Brawny pivotman Will Gozum is looking at a potential Most Valuable Player season with several trusty pieces such as Miguel Corteza, Rob Nayve, JC Cullar and shooters Migs Oczon and James Pasturan surrounding him.
“We treat every game as if it is our last. Our mentality is to be composed and make sure that the team is always on the same page,’’ said Gozum.
The back-to-back titleholder Knights tasted their first defeat in three years at the hands of the Chiefs recently, making them vulnerable in their bid for a third straight trophy and leaving the championship door wide open.
“We always teach our players basketball the right way. Play fast, make good decisions and share the ball,’’ said Tiu.
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