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Layout By Kamille Castillo.

Hot-shooting Blazers prove to be too much for Cardinals in 17th FilOil Preseason Cup

The hot shooting of the #BenildeBlazers was all it took to topple the Mapua Cardinals in the #17thFilOilEcoOilPreseasonCup, leading to the Taft team’s first win in the competition.

By Driks Valencia | Tuesday, 21 May 2024

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers defeated the reigning NCAA runner-up, the Mapua University (MU) Cardinals, 72-59, to claim their first win in the FilOil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup on May 20 at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.


Despite a shaky start by both teams, the first half still favored the Blazers. The Taft squad capitalized on the shaded area, converting the first offensive loads as Allen Liwag, Irele Galas, and Paul Turco tallied points from underneath the basket, 13-6. A fadeaway jumper by Ian Torres marked the end of the first quarter, 15-9. The second quarter saw a more aggressive offense from the Blazers as Torres and Mowell Morales led the team to maintain the lead, 24-16. The quarter was highlighted by an and-one slam dunk from Roger Ondoa, however he could not convert the three-point play, 26-16. Adamson University highschool standout, Gene Carillo, made an immediate impact as he tallied back-to-back baskets with a fast break lay and a corner three, extending the lead, 34-19. The Blazers ended the quarter on a high note as Morales sunk his third consecutive three, 37-21. 


The second half saw a more defense-oriented Taft squad as their efficient full-court pressure resulted in points for the team. An early highlight show was presented by Liwag after sinking a one-handed jam on a fast break play, 43-21. In what was turning out to be a blowout, Mapua sophomore, JC Recto, was the lone light for the Cardinals, leading their offense in all aspects. The men in red and yellow attempted to close out the gap by applying their own defensive pressure, cutting the lead right after the third quarter, 52-42. Morales and Tony Ynot made sure to keep the Blazers up front, as they continued to fuel the hot-shooting streak of the men in green and white, nailing their own three-point shots, 61-42. A late run by Mapua closed the gap, 68-57, but Jericho Jalalon secured the win by landing a wide open three to end the game, 72-59.


Jhommel Ancheta was hailed as the best player of the game with 10 points, 2 assists and a rebound. 


Catch the Blazers as they face the San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) Golden Stags next on Wednesday, May 22, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre, with live coverage in the FilOil EcoOil Sports Facebook and YouTube pages.