CSB PULLS RUG FROM UNDER LETRAN, 76-71, SENDS NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES TO GAME 3 DECIDER
GETTING ample moral support from sister school La Salle, College of Saint Benilde stayed glued together en route to pulling the rug from under three-peat-seeking Letran in the NCAA men's basketball championship series via a 76-71 victory before a sellout crowd Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
GETTING ample moral support from sister school La Salle, College of Saint Benilde stayed glued together en route to pulling the rug from under three-peat-seeking Letran in the NCAA men’s basketball championship series via a 76-71 victory before a sellout crowd Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
It was Migs Oczon, who minutes before the game was considered a doubtful starter due to an ankle injury, proved to be the biggest hero for CSB as drilled in the game’s biggest basket in the form of a magnificent turnaround jumper in the final 20.2 seconds actually sealed win for the Blazers.
That gem of a jumper gave CSB a comfortable 75-71 edge. The Blazers never looked back from there, en route to sending the NCAA men’s basketball championship series to a Game 3 decider next Sunday.
What made matters worse for the Knights was the loss of Fran Yu when it mattered most. He was slapped with a disqualifying foul after elbowing Mark Sangco in an off-ball play with 5:29 left in the second quarter.
And with it, Yu, the Season 95 Finals MVP, might also miss playing in Game 3, slated at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Will Gozum, who was earlier named the season MVP, led Benilde with 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Miggy Corteza also had 21 points and 10 boards to go with four assists while Oczon chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds, and two assists for the Blazers.
It was Benilde’s first Finals game win since 2000, when it swept San Sebastian for a breakthrough NCAA crown.
Brent Paraiso paced Letran with 16 points, seven rebounds, and two assists while Louie Sangalang and Kurt Reyson each had 11 markers.
Earlier, Gozum became the third Blazer to win the season MVP honors after Sunday Salvacion (2002) and Jay Sagad (2005).
“First of all, gusto ko mag-thank you sa mga teammates ko na laging nagtitiwala at sa mga coaches na naniwala sa akin. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Lasallian community na nagpunta dito kahit Sunday,” said the 6-foot-6 sweet-shooting forward.
“We will do our best to get that championship!”
Taking the Rookie of the Year plum is Arellano University’s Cade Flores, who also copped the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Joining Gozum and Flores in the Mythical Team are San Beda’s JB Bahio (42.611 SPs) and James Kwekuteye (41.5); and Letran’s King Caralipio (39.944).
Meanwhile, joining Flores, Bahio, and Gozum in the All-Defensive Team are Perpetual Help’s Mark Omega and San Sebastian’s Rommel Calahat.
Lyceum of the Philippines University’s Shawn Umal, meanwhile, was adjudged as the Most Improved Player of the season. (ai/mtvn)
Benilde (76) — Gozum 21, Corteza 21, Oczon 15, Nayve 10, Pasturan 3, Sangco 3, Carlos 3, Cullar 0, Marcos 0, Davis 0, Lepalam 0, Flores 0, Lim 0.
Letran (71) — Paraiso 16, Sangalang 11, Reyson 11, Caralipio 9, Yu 6, Santos 6, Javillonar 5, Olivario 4, Ariar 3, Guarino 0, Go 0.
Quarterscores: 20-23, 34-45, 64-59, 76-71.