MANILA, Philippines—College of St. Benilde kept its first-place standing after beating Mapua, 73-64, in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at San Juan Arena.
The Blazers’ performance, however, left their head coach Charles Tiu displeased after nearly letting the game slip out of their hands.
“I’m very disappointed. You want to give some guys a chance to play, a chance to bounce back and they don’t respect the way we should be playing and we almost lost this game,” Tiu said.
After a nip-and-tuck first half, St. Benilde led by double-digits at the start of the fourth quarter but needed a strong finishing kick to hold off Mapua down the stretch.
Migs Oczon hit a triple that capped a 9-0 run by the Blazers after the Cardinals pulled within two.
With Mapua still threatening, Miguel Corteza converted on a reverse that sealed the deal for the Blazers, 67-58, with 2:26 remaining. Corteza finished with a game-high 17 points.
Oczon added 14 points and eight rebounds for CSB, which upped its mark to 6-1.
Adrian Nocum scored a team-high 15 points while Warren Bonifacio posted 14 points and 11 rebounds for Mapua, which is still searching for its first win after eight games.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.