COLLEGE of Saint Benilde turned to Robi Nayve and Will Gozum down the stretch to turn back Lyceum of the Philippines University, 79-68, in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the La Salle Greenhills Gym.
The victory was the first for rookie coach Charles Tiu, as the Blazers are determined to enter the Final Four this year after the 2019 near miss where they ended up at 9-9.
Earlier, University of Perpetual Help System overpowered Jose Rizal University, 77-56, to earn its first win of the season.
Nayve and Gozum, a transferee from University of the Philippines, produced key baskets in the final three minutes to pull away from a close game and help CSB bounce back from last Saturday’s 63-67 loss to defending champion Letran.
Nayve led the Blazers with 17 points while Gozum posted 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Pirates, with Enoch Valdez’s team-high 13 points, dropped to 0-2 under new mentor Gilbert Malabanan.
Coach Myk Saguiguit is still feeling his way of coaching in a higher level of competition, although he had one spell in 2019 when his predecessor Frankie Lim briefly went “on leave” and coached one game during that season.
“Pag pindot ng buzzer, na-feel ko ulit yujng basketball pressure. Although nakapag-coach ako last time doon sa NBL, pero iba yung NCAA kasi syempre one of the prime leagues ng collegiate,” said Saguiguit.
“Good basketball pressure naman tapos na-excite ako sobra. Natuwa ako. Totoo na palang may game na ang NCAA, akala ko nananaginip lang ako eh,” he added.
With the most lopsided victory of the young season, Saguiguit was surprised with the way the Altas performed in their opener.
“Hindi ko rin ine-expect yung naging resulta ng game. Siguro yung excitement lang ng mga bata kasi for two years, hindi nakapaglaro ng basketball so ito yung chance nila kaya ang ganda ng nangyari sa amin,” said Saguiguit.
“Players’ effort siya. Ang naging sikreto nito ay yung relasyon nila, relasyon ng players, relasyon ng coaches,” he added.
Veteran Kim Aurin came through with 20 points, four rebounds and three assists while Jeff Egan finally made his debut for Perpetual with 14 points, five boards and five assists.
Second year Jielo Razon was solid in orchestrating plays for the Altas with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds. He had a game-high +27 efficiency inside the court.
JM Delos Santos led the Bombers with 17 points, six rebounds and four steals while rookie Jason Celis added 11 markers.
Perpetual (77) — Aurin 20, Egan 14, Razon 13, Abis 6, Pagaran 5, Omega 4, Nunez 3, Cuevas 2, Sevilla 2, Barcuma 2, Boral 2, Martel 2, Movida 2, Kawamura 0, Ferreras 0.
JRU (56) — Delos Santos 17, Celis 11, Bongay 8, Agbong 7, Arenal 7, Estrella 3, Dionisio 2, Jungco 1, Macatangay 0, Aguilar 0, Guiab 0, Dela Rama 0, Gonzales 0.
Quarterscores: 26-9, 43-25, 64-38, 77-56
CSB (79) — Nayve 17, Gozum 15, Cullar 11, Benson 11, Marcos 9, Corteza 4, Lim 2, Davis 2. Lepalam 2, Sangco 2, Flores 1, Carlos 0, Mosqueda 0.
LPU (68) — Valdez 13, Umali 11, Remulla 10, Guadaña 7, Barba 7, Larupay 6, Guinto 6, Cunanan 4, Navarro 2, Abadeza 2, Garro 0, Jabel 0, Bravo 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 37-36, 54-50, 79-68.