It’s Blazers vs Letran in NCAA Season 98 Finals

COLLEGE of St. Benilde Blazers — NCAA/SYNERGY-GMA

COLLEGE of St. Benilde’s (CSB) dream season is still on.

The Blazers added another first to its long list of breakthrough feats as they edged the San Beda Lions, 62-61, yesterday to secure a spot to the finals for the first time since making it that far exactly two decades ago in NCAA Season 98 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

After already setting foot to the Final Four for the first time in 22 years, CSB aims to write another historic chapter to its Cinderella story as it guns for a second title since its breakthrough crown in 2000.

“This year could be our year, I hope its going to be our destiny but of course, the finals will be tougher,” said CSB coach Charles Tiu. “I’m happy for the Benilde community because there has been a lot of heartbreaks, at least we’re back in the finals and achieved another goal.”

“Hopefully, we achieve one more,” he added.

Migz Oczon, who wasn’t even born yet when CSB last made the finals, was at the center of the CSB storm as the 22-year-old Davao City-born guard unleashed a game-high 17 points including a pristine eight-of-eight clip from the free throw line.

The last two charities, in fact, sealed the win as San Beda gunslinger James Kwekuteye’s potential game winning three-pointers clanked off the rim.

It made up for a horrendous shooting from the field where went three of 15 with all of his fieldgoals coming from beyond the arc.

But his Midas Touch from the line was enough to help the Blazers get them through the best-of-three finals.

“He’s put in the work, there was no doubt when he’s in the free throw line, I know he’s going to make it,” said Mr. Tiu. Oczon did.

It was a heartbreaker of a defeat for the Red Lions, who will not make the finals for the second straight season after making the finals 14 straight times starting in 2006. That stretch of excellence snared the once mighty San Beda dynasty an impressive 11 championships.

Now it could be CSB’s turn.

Letran trounced Lyceum of the Philippines (LPU), 67-58, to seal the other spot to the best-of-three finals starting on Dec. 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. — Joey Villar

The Scores:

First Game

CSB 62 — Oczon 17, Pasturan 16, Gozum 10, Nayve 8, Corteza 7, Sangco 4, Cullar 0, Carlos 0, Marcos 0, Lepalam 0, Lim 0.

San Beda 61 — Cortez 13, Kwekuteye 11, Bahio 9, Sanchez 8, Ynot 6, Cuntapay 4, Andrada 3, Cometa 3, Alfaro 2, Visser 2, Payosing 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 34-31, 54-48, 62-61

Second Game

Letran 67 — Yu 11, Caralipio 10, Sangalang 9, Paraiso 9, Javillonar 8, Reyson 7, Olivario 6, Monje 4, Go 3, Ariar 0, Guarinio 0

LPU 58 — Valdez 15, Guadaña 14, Bravo 6, Larupay 6, Montano 5, Umali 3, Penafiel 3, Navarro 2, Barba 2, Villegas 1, Vinoya 1, Cunanan 0

Quarterscores: 13-17; 30-28; 50-45; 67-58

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>