Gutang returns, CSB remains unscathed in NCAA 95

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 13, 2019 06:14 PM
Gutang returns, CSB remains unscathed in NCAA 95
CSB yet again finds itself all even with three-peat champion San Beda (Photo by Josh Albelda)

College of St. Benilde isn't letting go just yet of the top spot in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament.

Justin Gutang saw to that, doing it all in his comeback from a knee injury as the Blazers came out on top of Arellano University, 82-77, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre for their fifth win in as many games.

Two weeks removed from hurting his left knee, the Filipino-American wasted no time in making his presence felt as took the floor anew with 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

He definitely wasn't alone, however, as Clement Leutcheu top-scored with 13 points to go along with seven rebounds while Yankie Haruna also added 11 markers, eight boards, and three assists of his own. "I think we were able to play well today especially with our offense. We moved the ball and knocked down shots," head coach TY Tang said post-game.

CSB, though, took some time to get going and needed a buzzer-beating fadeaway from Leutcheu to take away the lead it would never relinquish.

Indeed, the Cameroonian center's jumper to end the first half only energized his teammates as they detonated a 10-4 blast to begin the third quarter that built up their edge to seven, 45-38

The Chiefs didn't quit just yet and even pulled within five, 77-82, with 16.7 ticks to go on the clock only to see Unique Naboa pilfer Marlon Espiritu to finish the job, once and for all, for the Blazers.

In the end, Naboa had seven points alongside the win-sealing steal while Robi Nayve provided a big boost from the bench as well with nine points, all from deep.

With their latest win, the Taft-based team yet again improved upon its best-ever start to the season in school history.

Along with that, they yet again find themselves all even with three-peat champion San Beda University for the top spot.

The real test, though, is yet to come for CSB as up next in its schedule is Lyceum of the Philippines University, San Beda University, and Colegio de San Juan de Letran - the other three teams inside the playoff picture as of right now. "We're hoping to at least get our groove back and continue our winning streak," coach TY said.

On the other hand, Arellano drops to a tie for the bottom spot in the standings at 1-6. That put to waste a career performance from Justin Arana who had 25 points on top of nine rebounds and three blocks.

BOX SCORES

CSB 82 - Leutcheu 13, Gutang 12, Haruna 11, Pasturan 10, Nayve 9, Dixon 8, Naboa 7, Carlos 5, Flores 3, Belgica 2, Lepalam 2, Sanco 0, Young 0, Velasco 0.

ARELANO 77 - Arana 25, Sablan 11, Salado 10, Espiritu 8, Talampas 6, Oliva 6, Alcoriza 5, Santos 5, Concepcion 1, Bayla 1, De Guzman 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 18-13, 35-34, 60-52, 82-77.

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