NCAA basketball

Benilde outlasts embattled Mapua to stay on top; Letran snaps skid
Benilde outlasts embattled Mapua to stay on top; Letran snaps skid

TAKE CHARGE. St. Benilde’s Will Gozum gets past the defense of Mapua’s Adrian Nocum (left) and Arvin Gamboa.


The streaking St. Benilde Blazers grab the top spot at 6-1, while defending champion Letran Knights rediscover their winning ways

MANILA, Philippines – College of St. Benilde grabbed the solo top spot after stretching their impressive winning run to three in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The CSB Blazers – who just downed contenders San Beda and Jose Rizal University – overcame Mapua’s challenge, 73-64, on Wednesday, October 5, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.  

Miggy Corteza led the Blazers’ balanced charge with 17 points, while Migs Oczon collected 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals as the Blazers rose to a 6-1 record.

“This is a great confidence booster for us because we wanted to display and show people that we can beat any team, especially those who reached the finals and the Final Four, and I think it will help us in our upcoming two games,” said Corteza.

Mapua, which saw its lone win forfeited for fielding an ineligible player, remained winless in eight games. 

In the second game, Letran rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 77-69 triumph over San Sebastian. 

King Caralipio scored 13 and returning players Brent Paraiso and Louie Sangalang – who both served a two-game suspension – played key roles in lifting the defending champion Knights to a 4-3 record.  

Sangalang collected 11 points, 8 rebounds,4  assists, and two blocks, while guard Fran Yu also had an all-around game of 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists.

The Knights nearly blew an 18-point advantage when the Stags threatened within, 58-52, but Paraiso and Sangalang managed to restore order in the closing minutes. 

The Stags fell to 2-4.

The Scores

First Game

Benilde 73 – Corteza 17, Oczon 14, Lepalam 10, Sangco 8, Gozum 8, Nayve 6, Carlos 4, Pasturan 3, Cullar 3, Marcos 0, Flores 0.

Mapua 64 – Nocum 15, Bonifacio 14, Gamboa 11, Salenga 7, Lacap 6, Pido 5, Garcia 4, Hernandez 2, Agustin 0, Parinas 0, Soriano 0.

Quarters: 18-11, 29-29, 43-32, 73-64.

Second Game

Letran 77 – Caralipio 13, Sangalang 11, Go 11, Paraiso 10, Monje 10, Yu 9, Reyson 5, Olivario 3, Tolentino 3, Santos 2, Bojorcelo 0, Ariar 0, Guarinio 0.

San Sebastian 69 – Escobido 18, Calahat 17, Desoyo 8, Villapando 7, Shanoda 7, Sumoda 5, Concha 3, Felebrico 2, Cosari 2, Altamirano 0, Aguilar 0, Una 0, Yambing 0.

Quarters: 14-17, 38-31, 58-44, 77-69.


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