Blazers glued on 3rd victory

Solidifying its hold on the leadership will be the ultimate mission when College of Saint Benilde battles University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in Season 98 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament today at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Game time is at 12 noon with the red-hot Blazers looking to claim their third straight win to keep their spot on top of the standings of the country’s oldest collegiate league.

In the second game at 3 p.m., Lyceum of the Philippines University will shoot for its fourth win in five games when it collides wits struggling Emilio Aguinaldo College.

The Pirates are tied with idle San Sebastian College at the third spot and a victory over the host school will give them a share of lead pending the result of the battle between the Blazers and the Altas.
But focus will be on Saint Benilde.

After falling short of missing the step-ladder semifinals last season, the Blazers sizzled early booking convincing wins over Lyceum and San Sebastian to remain as the only undefeated squad in the early stretch of this tournament.

Against the Stags, the troika of Miguel Oczon, Will Gozum and Miggy Corteza waxed hot, powering the Blazers to an impressive
100-94 win that boosted their morale heading into the important battles against reigning champion Letran College on Friday.

Still, Blazers assistant coach Paolo Layug refused to look past the dangerous Altas.

“I have a lot of respect for Perpetual,” said Layug, speaking on behalf of head coach Charles Tiu.

“They’re a tough team and they have one of the deepest teams in the NCAA. For sure, they’re going to be more motivated as they are coming off from a loss.”

True enough, the Altas will be a force to be reckoned with.

Sure, it suffered a 59-61 loss to vastly-improved Arellano University last week, but Perpetual drew impressive numbers from its stars, including Kim Aurin, Mark Omega and Lean Martel.

Aurin fired 27 points while Omega and Matel combined for 17 markers while providing a lot of grit and defensive intensity for the squad coached by Myk Saguiguit.

Layug said they will play hard regardless of who is at the opposite end of the floor.

“Whoever our opponent is, we have to prepare the same way because the games all count the same,” he said.

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