NCAA basketball

Gozum powers Benilde to back-to-back wins, EAC breaks through

Delfin Dioquino
Gozum powers Benilde to back-to-back wins, EAC breaks through

GIANTS. Will Gozum (right) and Justin Arana duke it out in a battle of top NCAA big men.

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Will Gozum delivers a double-double as Benilde notches its second straight win in NCAA Season 97 after starting its campaign with a narrow loss to defending champion Letran

MANILA, Philippines – Will Gozum churned out a double-double to fuel College of St. Benilde to a 76-71 victory over Arellano University in NCAA Season 97 at the La Salle Green Hills gym on Saturday, April 2.

Gozum delivered 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Blazers notched their second straight win after starting their campaign with a narrow loss to reigning champion Letran in the season-opener.

The Chiefs trailed by just a single possession with under 20 seconds left, 71-74, and had a chance to level the score but Kobe Caballero coughed up the last of his 6 turnovers after being trapped by JC Cullar.

Cullar then dished the ball to Jethro Publico, who skied for the win-clinching layup with 7.9 ticks remaining.

Benilde pulled off another steal courtesy of Ladis Lepalam to shut the door on Arellano.

Robi Nayve topscored for the Blazers with 19 points on top of 3 rebounds, while Miguel Corteza came off the bench and produced 10 points and 4 rebounds.

Caballero finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds for the Chiefs, who dropped to 1-2 despite the return of top big man Justin Arana.

Arana still put up 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks despite enduring a hurt knee.

Meanwhile, the Emilio Aguinaldo College finally cracked the win column after a 70-69 escape against hapless Lyceum, which slipped to solo last place with a 0-3 record.

Trailing 67-70, the Pirates inched within a whisker thanks to an Omar Larupay short stab, but the Generals held on by keeping their foes scoreless in the final 1:30 minutes.

Marwin Tayman paced EAC with 14 points, 8 assists, and 3 steals, JP Maguliano chalked up 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Art Cosa had 10 points and 8 rebounds.

Allen Liwag also made his presence felt with 8 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Generals, who improved to 1-2.

The Scores

First Game

St. Benilde 76 – Nayve 19, Gozum 17, Corteza 10, Marcos 7, Benson 6, Publico 6, Carlos 5, Cullar 2, Lepalam 2, Flores 1, Davis 1, Tateishi 0, Sangco 0, Mosqueda 0, Lim 0.

Arellano 71 – Caballero 15, Arana 14, Doromal 12, Sablan 10, Steinl 9, Abastillas 4, Sta. Ana 3, Valencia 2, Oliva 2, Cruz 0, Talampas 0, Concepcion 0, Carandang 0.

Quarters: 14-11, 36-29, 58-54, 74-71.

Second Game

EAC 70 – Taywan 14, Maguliano 13, Cosa 10, Liwag 8, Robin 6, Quinal 5, Gurtiza 5, Luciano 4, Doria Ad. 2, Cadua 2, Umpad 1, Doria An. 0, Fuentes 0, Bunyi 0.

LPU 69 – Bravo 12, Navarro 9, Cunanan 9, Valdez 9, Barba 9, Remulla 8, Larupay 7, Guadaña 3, Gaviola 2, Umali 1, Guinto 0, Silvarez 0, Jabel 0.

Quarters: 22-9, 37-34, 52-52, 70-69

– Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.