Jr. Blazers live to fight another day against top-seed Red Cubs

Jr. Blazers live to fight another day against Red Cubs
ONE MORE TIME. Joel Cagulangan and Inand Fornilos' connection carried CSB-LSGH onto a do-or-die matchup still against San Beda.

For a while there, College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills looked to be over and out in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

And then Joel Cagulangan breathed life into their campaign.

Cagulangan did that again on Friday at the MOA Arena and was joined by Inand Fornilos as the Junior Blazers downed top-seed San Beda High School, 83-72, to set up a do-or-die matchup between the two teams.

“We’re in a quest. We’re in a mission,” a more than satisfied head coach Marvin Bienvenida said post-game. “As much as it’s still far, we really want something and hopefully, it continues in the coming games.”

The all-around guard had 17 points to his name in the first two quarters alone, but his team only had a four-point lead.

Sam Abu Hijleh’s back-to-back hits then tied the tally at 51-all early in the third before Cagulangan and Fornilos combined for half in the 16-2 counter that put CSB-LSGH back on top, 67-51, at the midway mark of the quarter.

Their lead shrunk to as little as 67-72 in the final frame before Cagulangan and Fornilos again connected for seven points in their 9-2 run that closed the contest and discarded the Red Cubs’ twice-to-beat advantage.

In the end, the Junior Blazers’ lead guard had 27 points, six rebounds, and five assists while Fornilos had 11 markers and eight boards to his name. Joshua Marcos and Jacob Lao also had much-welcome contributions of 17 and 11 points, respectively.

This is quite the turnaround for the Junior Blazers who struggled to end the eliminations with only one win in its last six games. “We had our wakeup call a few weeks and we woke up,” Bienvenida said.

Now, they have put themselves in position to pull off an upset in the decider of the semifinals series on November 7.

On the other hand, San Beda goes back to the drawing board after seeing its seven-game winning streak come to an emphatic end. Mahinay paced them with 13 points in this one.

They will need a lot more from Sam Abu Hijleh, Peter Alfaco, Evan Nelle, and Josh Tagala as CSB-LSGH now owns a 2-1 edge in head-to-head matchups this season.

BOX SCORES

CSB-LSGH 83 – Cagulangan 27, Marcos 7, Fornilos 11, Lao 11, David 7, Sangco 5, Mosqueda 3, Perez 2, Morales 0, Cruz 0, Lepalam 0, Pedrosa 0

SAN BEDA 72 – Mahinay 13, Nelle 11, Velasquez 9, Sese 8, Obenza 7, Tagala 6, Abu Hijleh 6, Alfaro 5, Etrata 4, Dela Rosa 3, Garcia 0, Lagumen 0, Oliva 0

QUARTER SCORES: 28-27, 48-44, 67-55, 83-72

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