The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) dodged another late comeback by the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (UPHSD) Altas, 77-73, to grab their seventh win in the NCAA Season 99, on Oct. 29, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
The first 12 minutes of action saw both teams playing steadily and consistently. Prince Carlos, however, came with the aggression early as he drove hard for layups and sank threes, stirring up an afternoon for him to remember. The quarter ended with a Will Gozum bucket, 20-14.
The second quarter was all about the Blazers just stacking onto their comfortable lead. While it was a slow-scoring battle, midway through the period, Miguel Oczon and Carlos carried the Blazers on their shoulders as they showered buckets with their talented perimeter play. After the pace picked up towards the end, Oczon put in a floater to give the Taft squad a comfortable 36-26 lead heading into the half.
The third quarter was more of the same, as the Blazers bulged their lead all the way to 18 after a Carlos three-pointer. Second year point guard Joshua Cajucom chipped in markers of his own, after a layup and a mid range jumper that helped the Blazers maintain a double-digit advantage to end the period, 55-43.
The final frame, however, was almost like a different game as the Altas turned everything around and gave the men in green and white a deja vu based on their clash from the first round. Even though Cajucom, Gozum, and Oczon came prepared to answer any Perpetual bucket to start the quarter, Jielo Razon and a red-hot Art Roque put on their capes and rescued the Altas from their deficit. With 19 seconds to go, Roque attempted a catch-and-shoot three, got fouled, and made all charity shots, inching his team to a three-point margin, 74-71. But after Gozum laced two clutch free throws, the final buzzer cutted off any more of the Altas’ momentum as the final score read 77-73 in favor of the Blazers.
Carlos led the Blazers with a career-high 19 points. On the other hand, Perpetual’s Roque scored a game-high 27 points, which pushed the Blazers to their limits in the fourth quarter. Even though it was a quiet game for him, Mark Sangco’s 12 rebounds (five offensive) were crucial for the Taft squad.
The Blazers will be going up against the Arellano Chiefs on Nov. 4 to try and escape the fourth place entanglement following the conclusion of this game. The game will be available to watch live on NCAA Philippines’ Facebook and YouTube pages.
DLS-CSB (77) - Carlos 19, Oczon 18, Gozum 15, Corteza 7, Cajucom 6, Sangco 4, Turco 4, Marcos 2, Mara 2, Marasigan 0
UPHSD (73) - Roque 27, Razon 14, Pagaran 11, Nitura 9, Abis 5, Omega 4, Barcuma 2, Ferreras 1, Gelsano 0, Boral 0, Orgo 0, Nunez 0, Sevilla 0