Blazers practically show Cards the door
Still smarting from an unlikely setback, College of St. Benilde on Wednesday played it smart in the endgame to drub Mapua, 85-72, as the Blazers reclaimed the elimination round lead while dimming the Cardinals’ chances of advancing in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Filoil EcoOil Centre.
Will Gozum drilled in 25 points that went with eight rebounds and Miguel Corteza tossed in 22 to complete a two-sided blade for the Blazers, who rose to 8-2 while effectively putting an 80-75 loss to tail-ending Emilio Aguinaldo last Sunday behind.
And coach Charles Tiu was impressed at what he saw, especially how Gozum and Corteza stepped up when Benilde’s third gun, Migs Oczon, was silenced.
“They (Blazers) played hard and that’s what I expect of them,” said Tiu. “Mapua really defended [Migs] Oczon, but Will and Miggy (Corteza), they stepped up big time and they got a lot of easy buckets so I give them all the credit.”
Lyceum, another front-runner which took a tumble on Sunday, rebounded with a 79-73 nipping of the Generals in the second game.
The win was the seventh in 11 games for the Pirates, who wiggled out of a tie with idle defending champion Letran at third spot after pulling away in the second period and preserving a 50-38 halftime lead.