Blazers back on lofty perch, clip Cards

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — St. Benilde outgunned Mapua in the third quarter and hacked out a 73-64 victory yesterday to regain the top spot in the 98th NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

The Blazers went on attack mode in the third canto and turned a 29-all halftime into a 53-42 advantage that they cautiously and methodically nursed to preserve their sixth win in seven outings.

“They’re very well coached, always play tough and physical and have a lot of talent,” said CSB coach Charles Tiu of Mapua. “We just caught them at the right time when they are struggling.”

While CSB is now comfortably perched on top, Tiu feels it’s too early to celebrate.

“No. 1 right now does not mean so much but maybe it will at the end of the eliminations if we can sustain it, and at the end of the season,” he said.

CSB’s two Miguels presided over the win with Corteza leading all scorers with 17 points and Oczon doing the rest with 14 points, eight rebounds and two steals that made up for Will Gozum’s season-low eight points.

It was another heartbreaking defeat for the Cardinals, who continued their downward spiral with a 0-8 card.

In the other game, Letran trounced San Sebastian College, 77-69, to hike its total to 4-3.


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