Blazers repulse Chiefs, regain lead share
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - August 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — St. Benilde drew boost from the returning Justin Gutang as the Blazers turned back the Arellano University Chiefs, 82-77, yesterday to seize a share of the lead with the San Beda Lions in the 95th NCAA basketball tournament at the Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Gutang was all over the place on his return from a one-game absence due to a knee injury and carried his team through with 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block as the Blazers extended their unbeaten run to five that catapulted them back to the top alongside the Lions.

It also marked the first time this season that CSB played healthy and in full strength that should prime itself up for the final stretch of the first round of the eliminations where it will tackle three of the league’s top four teams – San Beda, Lyceum of the Phl U (5-1) and Letran (5-2).

“It’s always a good thing to come in with a healthy lineup. We hope it stays this way for the rest of the year,” said CSB coach TY Tang.

Earlier, Mapua streaked to its second win as it dumped Emilio Aguinaldo, 76-66, to improve to 2-5 (win-loss).

The Cardinals made their move late in the second quarter but only broke loose in the third when it unleashed a 21-0 blitz that saw them pad their 35-27 lead to 56-34 late in the period with Laurenz Victoria sparking the breakaway.

Cyril Gonzales and Paolo Hernandez led Mapua with 13 and 11 points while Victoria scattered 10, seven of which came in that decisive stretch in the third canto.

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