Photo Banner By Enzo Campos
Photo Banner By Enzo Campos.

Blazers stay strong in final four bid after toppling Golden Stags

The #BenildeBlazers outplayed the defensive prowess of the Golden Stags, 78-68, staying strong in their final four bid in #NCAASeason99.

By Driks Valencia | Sunday, 12 November 2023

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers regained their winning momentum after defeating the San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) Golden Stags, 78-68, in their second round face-off in the NCAA Season 99, today, Nov. 12, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.


Coming off a disappointing loss, the Blazers are optimistic for a come-back win heading into the game. Backed by a more confident Will Gozum, the Taft squad initiated a dominant head start in the opening period. A solid frontcourt aided the scoring spree in the first quarter, as Gozum, Paul TurcoZenric Jarque, and Michael Mara hovered the paint to create an early lead, 17-12. The backcourt duo of Miguel Oczon and Robi Nayve powered the transition offense of the Blazers as they scored easy fastbreak lays to mark a good lead in the first quarter, 21-12.


Miguel Corteza opened the second quarter with his patented floater shot, as the Blazers continued to extend the lead, 23-12. But, the backcourt of the Golden Stags, led by Alex Desoyo and Rafael Are, made a successful 8-2 run which immediately cut the lead, 27-26. Oczon then rallied back as he made his first three-point shot of the game in the second period, 30-28. Nayve continued to lead the transition offense as he managed to top the game in points, tallying 10 points in 83% field goal shooting at the half. A three-point play by Mara concluded the first half, with the Blazers holding the lead, 43-41.


The third quarter saw a more relaxed Golden Stags as the motion cuts of the Blazers seemed to be effective with Oczon and Gozum going for easy baskets under the rim as they still maintained the lead, 51-47. Joshua Cajucom nailed his first points as he tagged up with Nayve in boosting the transition offense of the Blazers. The third period ended in favor of the Taft squad, 58- 54.


A more efficient Blazers saw action in the last period as Oczon landed two consecutive threes to claim the double-digit lead, 68-58. The Blazers still relied on their fastbreak opportunities as Prince Carlos and Cajucom led the successful run, 75-63. Good ball rotation was also seen in the Blazers, including a play that led to a two-handed slam by Gozum, 77-65. The green and white squad remained consistent on both ends of the court as they claim their 10th win of the season, 78-68.


Nayve stood as the best Blazer on the court with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block. Gozum led the Blazers in scoring with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists.


Catch the Blazers as they face the San Beda University (SBU) Red Lions next on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre, with live coverage in the NCAA Philippines Facebook and YouTube pages. 


Box Scores:

DLS-CSB (78): Gozum 14, Nayve 13, Oczon 13, Mara 12, Corteza 6, Carlos 4, Cajucom 4, Sangco 4, Jarque 3, Turco 3, Morales 2, Marcos 0, Arciaga 0

SSC-R (68): Calahat 14, Desoyo 11, Gabat 8, Are 8, Escobido 7, Felebrico 6, Sumoda 5, Shanoda 5, Una 4, De Leon 0

Tags: NCAA 99