NCAA: Blazers flex muscle in takedown of Cardinals

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 20, 2018 02:14 PM
NCAA: Blazers flex muscle in takedown of Cardinals
Yankie Haruna has played his best game since suffering a shoulder injury a season ago

It took until its second game in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament, but College of St. Benilde has lived up to all the preseason hype.

Drawing contributions from up and down the roster, the Blazers grounded Mapua University, 90-79, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Yankie Haruna turned in his best game in recent memory with 19 points and four rebounds while first-year player Justin Gutang continued opening eyes with 17 points, 10 assists, and three rebounds.

Haruna also had the steady hands in the endgame, scoring eight points in the 17-0 run that boosted CSB into evening its standing at 1-1. “All I know is that my role is to give energy to my team on both ends because, of course, we have to play with a lot of energy,” he told reporters post-game.

The tally was tied at 71-all inside the seven minutes until Haruna and Gutang got together for the pivotal push.

Their defense also held up its end, holding the Cardinals scoreless for five minutes.

After an impressive preseason, the Blazers were tagged as the darkhorse of the tournament. However, they suffered a setback in their opener.

This time around, they were able to put it all together. “I guess that was just first game jitters. Now, I’m happy with the win,” head coach TY Tang said.

For now 1-1 Mapua, Justin Serrano and Noah Lugo paced them with 14 points apiece.

BOX SCORES

CSB 90 – Haruna 19, Gutang 17, Dixon 13, Leutcheu 8, Pasturan 8, Naboa 6, Domingo 6, Carlos 5, Young 5, Nayve 3, Barnes 0, Velasco 0

MAPUA 79 – Serrano 14, Lugo 14, Bunag 11, Pelayo 8, Bonifacio 8, Jabel 8, Victoria 6, Aguirre 6, Gamboa 3, Salenga 1, Biteng 0, Pajarillo 0

QUARTER SCORES: 15-15, 46-36, 61-59, 90-79

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