St. Benilde coach Charles Tiu admitted it took a little bit of luck to get past Jose Rizal University (JRU) on Tuesday.
“JRU’s a really tough team, they’re really good, we got away and got lucky with this one,” Tiu said after the Blazers held off the Bombers, 84-81, in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament at San Juan Arena.
“I’m happy that we’ve been playing better but we dug ourselves a bit of a hole so we needed to bounce back,” added Tiu, whose wards had fallen several times to the Bombers last season.
With the score tied at 62-all, Benilde went berserk and ran off a 13-1 blitz capped off by a Will Gozum bucket in the paint to take a 75-63 lead.
JRU, though, refused to back down and shaved the lead to just three, 84-81, with eight ticks left in the game.
As luck would have it, Gozum, who finished with a game-high 27 points, was in the right position to block Joshua Guiab’s triple that would have sent the game to an extra period.
The Blazers improved to 9-4 (win-loss) for the season with the efforts of Miggy Corteza and Migs Oczon, who scored 18 and 14, respectively, in the win.
JRU dropped to 8-6 despite Guiab’s 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Earlier, Perpetual Help dealt Arellano a third straight loss with an 81-74 decision.Christian Pagaran finished with 21 points to fuel the Altas to a 6-7 record. Marcus Nitura also helped the cause with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Jeadan Ongotan had 16 points while Lorenz Capulong added 15 for the Chiefs, who nevertheless crashed to a 2-11 card. INQ