EAC shocks Saint Benilde

Emilio Aguinaldo College finally broke a nine-game losing streak after pulling off an 80-75 upset of leader College of Saint Benilde in Season 98 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Nat Cosejo shone the brightest, flirting with a double-double of 24 points and nine rebounds for the Generals, who pulled off the massive upset to finally barge into the win column after 10 games.
Holding on a slim 76-75 lead in the fourth quarter, Cosejo sank a one-handed jumper in the final 48.7 seconds to give the Generals a three-point cushion, 78-75.

The Blazers tried to execute but were unsuccessful until JP Maguliano knocked down both of his free throws with 8.1 seconds left to seal the victory.

“We were not expecting that the game would be this close. I think we have prepared well,” said Bunyi, who did not field gunners King Gurtiza and Ralph Robin as they were suspended by the team for the rest of the season.

“We’re very happy. Deep inside, I’m really happy because these things are for them. When they realize that they have what it takes, it will boost their confidence.”
Will Gozum fired 19 points for the Blazers, who fell to 7-2.

Meanwhile, Mapua University notched its second win of the season following a thrilling 62-59 win over Lyceum of the Philippines University in the first game.

Jeric Pido and Warren Bonifacio led the assault to help the Cardinals avenge their 67-76 loss to the Pirates in the first round on 14 September.

Pido fired 11 points while Bonifacio dropped a double-double performance of 10 points and 14 rebound for the Cardinals, who grabbed only their second victory in 10 games.

Mapua coach Randy Alcantara lauded his boys’ mental toughness in the crucial stretch, especially when Pido nailed both his free throws to turn a slim 60-58 lead into 62-58 in the final 25.5 seconds.

Although Renzo Navarro cut the lead to three with a split from the stripe, Bonifacio was able to secure the rebound to ice the ballgame.

Mac Guadaña delivered 15 points, three rebounds and three assists for the Pirates, who remained in second place despite their 7-3 slate.

The scores:
First game
MAPUA (62) — Pido 11, Nocum 10, Bonifacio 10, Garcia 10, Hernandez 7, Mercado 4, Soriano 4, Cuenco 2, Parinas 2, Agustin 2, Salenga 0, Igliane 0, Lacap 0.
LYCEUM (59) — Guadaña 15, Larupay 8, Umali 7, Bravo 6, Cunanan 6, Barba 4, Navarro 4, Montaño 4, Villegas 3, Valdez 2, Peñafiel 0, Omandac 0.
QUARTERS: 12-18, 30-29, 42-48, 62-59.

Second game
EAC (80) — Cosejo 24, Bajon 16, Balowa 10, Liwag 10, Maguliano 6, Cosa 5, Dominguez 5, Ad. Doria 4, Quinal 0, Luciano 0, An. Doria 0, Tolentino 0.
SAINT BENILDE (75) — Gozum 19, Nayve 13, Pasturan 11, Corteza 8, Oczon 6, Sangco 6, Lim 6, Cullar 2, Carlos 2, Marcos 2, Flores 0, Mara 0, Lepalam 0, Davis 0.
QUARTERS: 19-18, 39-40, 57-59, 80-75.

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