NCAA basketball

CSB holds off San Sebastian to stay perfect; Arellano back on track

Martin Mendoza
CSB holds off San Sebastian to stay perfect; Arellano back on track

TOP GUN. Miguel Oczon leads the CSB Blazers to a hot start.


Sharpshooting guard Miguel Oczon puts on a show for the CSB Blazers as they improve to 2-0 in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament

MANILA, Philippines – The CSB Blazers improved to 2-0 in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament after denying the San Sebastian Stags’ late comeback, 100-94, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City on Friday, September 16.

Sharpshooting guard Miguel Oczon put on a show for the Blazers as he exploded for 25 points on 4-of-10 shooting from deep, including 20 in their huge third-quarter rally, where they outscored the Stags, 35-24.

Big man Will Gozum backstopped Oczon with 23 points, while Miguel Corteza contributed 18 markers for the Blazers, who played without their head coach Charles Tiu due to illness.

Already leading by as many as 25 points, 79-54, late in the third period, the Blazers failed to protect their double-digit advantage the rest of the way as San Sebastian managed to get within just 5, 94-99, off a layup by Itchie Altamirano with just 1:02 remaining.

Luckily for CSB, San Sebastian’s Romel Calahat and Ammar Cosari missed on back-to-back opportunities to slice the Blazers lead further to just a single possession with less than a minute left on the clock.

“I think what happened was we kind of relaxed, which there’s a tendency to do that when you’re up a lot,” said CSB assistant coach Paolo Layug.

“We were up 25, I wanted to get more guys to play. But it got really close so I really had to finish with our veterans,” he added.

Calahat finished with 21 points, while Altamirano had 16 for San Sebastian, which fell to 1-1.

In the first game, the Arellano Chiefs bounced back from their previous loss to the Stags with a 61-59 escape of the Perpetual Altas.

Axel Doromal led the charge for the Chiefs with 19 points, while Darrel Menina delivered an all-around outing of 13 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. 

With the score knotted at 55-all with less than 2 minutes left on the clock, Doromal and Menina took over and combined for the Chiefs’ last 6 points to create a much-needed separation from the Altas and secure their second win of the season.

The Chiefs survived the sensational performance of Perpetual guard Kim Aurin, who exploded for a career-high 27 points, to go along with 9 rebounds.

Arellano moved up to 2-1 in the standings, while Perpetual dropped to 1-1.

The Scores

First Game

Arellano 61 – Doromal 19, Menina 13, Mallari 9, Flores 8, Abastillas 5, Mantua 3, Tolentino 3, Oliva 1, Oftana 0, Domingo 0, Talampas 0. 

Perpetual 59 – Aurin 27, Omega 9, Martel 6, Nitura 5, Barcuma 3, Razon 3, Egan 2, Ferreras 2, Flores 2, Orgo 0, Cuevas 0, Boral 0, Roque 0, Nunez 0, Movida 0.

Quarters: 7-13, 27-24, 42-47, 61-59. 

Second Game

CSB 100 – Oczon 25, Gozum 23, Corteza 18, Cullar 11, Pasturan 8, Nayve 4, Lepalm 4, Carlos 4, Sangco 3, Mara 0, Marcos 0, Flores 0.

San Sebastian 94 – Calahat 21, Altamirano 16, Villapando 10, Desoyo 9, Are 8, Sumoda 7, Escobido 5, Shanoda 5, Yambing 5, Una 3, Cosari 2, Suico 2, Felebrico 1, Concha 0.

Quarters: 28-20, 46-38, 81-62, 100-94.

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