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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

 College of St. Benilde thumps Arellano, nears Final Four

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Will Gozum, Migs Oczon and Miguel Corteza scored in double digits to help push the College of Saint Benilde closer to a Final Four slot on Saturday in the 99th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament.

Gozum almost matched his season high output of 18 points when he knocked in 17 points for the Blazers as they won over the Arellano University Chiefs, 74-56, at the FilOil-EcoOil Arena in San Juan.

Oczon and Cortez tallied 11 points apiece for the Blazers in coasting to their fourth consecutive victory, and moving up to their third place with their 8-4 win-loss record.

The Blazers, who also drew eight and six points from Mark Sangco and Prince Carlos, are now behind co-leaders, the Mapua Cardinals and the Lyceum Pirates.

The other day, the Pirates caught up with the Cardinals for a share of the lead, with their 86-82 win over Mapua.

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The last time Gozum had his best game was when the Blazers struck down the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 93-85, early in the first round.

The 6’4 Gozum, who also had nine rebounds, an assist and two blocks  contributed 17 points in offense.

The Blazers picked up the pace in the second period, with Oczon’s triple in the last 2:35 shattering a 28-all deadlock, and together with Corteza and Gozum, they conspired for a 12-0 run that gave CSB a 40-28 halftime lead.

With momentum building up for the Blazers, coach Charles Tiu hopes that they can sustain their brilliance in the coming games.

“We have been locked in, paying attention to detail. There’s more sense of urgency. We dug ourselves a big hole at the start of the season. And, now we don’t have to treat every game like a playoff game,” said Tiu.

The Blazers are set to meet the JRU Heavy Bombers again on Tuesday at 4 p.m in an important matchup for both teams that will chart the fate of their Final Four aspirations.

Lorenz Capulong and Danielle Mallari led the Chiefs, who have a 2-12 card.

Capulong had  18 points and 11 rebounds, while Mallari contributed 11.

The Scores:

CSB 74 – Gozum 17, Oczon 11, Corteza 11, Sangco 8, Carlos 6, Arciaga 5, Nayve 4, Cajucom 4, Mara 4, Jarque 2, Turco 2, Marcos 0, Jalalon 0, Morales 0

AU 56 – Capulong 18, Mallari 11, Valencia 9, Ongotan 8, Yanes 6, Talampas 2, Geronimo 2, Villarente 0, Dayrit 0, Abastillas 0, Dela Cruz 0, Lustina 0, Camay 0, Rosalin 0

Quarterscores: 17-16, 40-28, 56-48, 74-56

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