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Blazers bounce back; Pirates prevail

Will Gozum fired a career-high 25 points as College of Saint Benilde drubbed Mapua University, 85-72, yesterday in Season 98 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Gozum shot 8-of-15 from the field to go with eight rebounds and four assists as the Blazers bounced back from their sorry 80-75 loss against Emilio Aguinaldo College last Sunday.

Down by three, 64-61, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Saint Benilde went on a 21-2 tear, capped by two free throws from Gozum with two minutes left on the clock to pull away for good, 82-66.
This was also the Blazers’ biggest lead of the game as they remain on top with an 8-2 win-loss record.

Saint Benilde head coach Charles Tiu said the loss against the Generals fueled the bounce back for the squad against last season’s finalist.

As for Gozum and Miggy Corteza, who scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Tiu said that kind of contribution is what they are expecting for the team.

“I’m happy but I’m still very mad that EAC lost to be honest. I thank the Lord for our win over Mapua today because it’s a hard-fought game. We were about to collapse but our defense held up in the fourth quarter,” said Tiu, whose team scored 46 points inside the paint compared to the Cardinals’ 28 points.

“For me, it’s respecting the integrity of the game. If guys don’t wanna play and act like they don’t wanna play then they don’t have to show up.”

“Gozum and Corteza stepped up big time. They took it inside and made a lot of easy baskets. That’s the kind of effort I’m expecting from them.”

Besides Gozum and Corteza, JC Cullar had eight points, three rebounds and six assists for Saint Benilde.

Warren Bonifacio dropped 21 markers, six boards and four dimes as Mapua absorbed its ninth loss in 11 games.

Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines tripped Emilio Aguinaldo College, 79-73.

Mac Guadana dropped 19 points as the Pirates improved to 8-3 for the solo second spot.

Nat Cosejo’s career-high 26 points wasn’t enough as the Generals slid to 1-10. Ivan Suing

The Scores:
First game
SAINT BENILDE (85) — Gozum 25, Corteza 22, Cullar 8, Oczon 6, Nayve 6, Sangco 5, Carlos 5, Pasturan 2, Marcos 2, Lepalam 2, Flores 2, Davis 0.
MAPUA (72) — Bonifacio 21, Pido 13, Agustin 12, Hernandez 10, Nocum 6, Cuenco 5, Soriano 3, Salenga 2, Mercado 0, Lacap 0, Garcia 0, Parinas 0.
QUARTERS: 24-16, 40-42, 61-64, 85-72.

Second game
LYCEUM (79) — Guadaña 19, Valdez 10, Cunanan 10, Umali 7, Vinoya 7, Villegas 6, Bravo 6, Larupay 5, Navarro 4, Peñafiel 3, Montano 2.
EAC (73) — Cosejo 26, Balowa 12, Maguliano 12, Cosa 7, Bajon 5, Luciano 4, Liwag 4, Tolentino 3, Ad. Doria 0, Dominguez 0, Angeles 0, Quinal 0.
QUARTERS: 29-20, 50-38, 65-53, 79-73.

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