After four straight losses, the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers finally ended their losing streak with a win versus the Mapua University (MU) Cardinals, 74-69, in the 93rd season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, San Juan.
The Blazers entered the game strong with their improved and more organized defensive strategy. JJ Domingo started the spark for the boys in green and white after scoring eight points to keep Benilde close in the game to end the first quarter (13-12).
In the second period, the Benildeans suffered from errors and turnovers down the paint giving the Cardinals the opportunity to capitalize on their momentum. Kim Magboo, who had 12 points for the Cardinals, helped his squad gain the lead by the end of the first half (38-31).
The struggle continued for the Blazers in the third quarter after not being able to answer their opponent’s offensive barrage as they eventually found themselves trailing by 15 points. Clement Leutcheu was also pulled out early in the quarter after suffering from a right arm sprain, but the big man managed to get himself back towards the latter part of the quarter. Mapua’s Christian Bunag and Andrew Estrella, who combined for 25 points in the game, ended the quarter with their team on top by nine (61-52).
However, late in the game, the Taft squad turned the game in their favor after coming out more aggressive in their offensive plays. Domingo, who led the Benildeans with 24 points and along with Leutcheu’s double double of 14 points and 17 rebounds, the Blazers fought back to seal the game with a 74-69 come-from-behind victory.
Yesterday’s win puts Benilde at a 2-4 win-loss record. The Blazers will go up against the San Sebastian College – Recoletos (SSC-R) Stags (2-3) on Friday, August 11, at the Flying V Centre, San Juan.
Quarters: (12-13, 38-31, 61-52, 69-74)