Unbeaten College of St. Benilde extended its best start in history after holding off Arellano University, 82-77, Tuesday in the 95th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Justin Gutang had 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block in his return from a sprained left MCL and bruised right calf to give the Blazers a perfect 5-0 record.
Clement Leutcheu scored 13 points with seven rebounds and three assists while Yankie Haruna added 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists for CSB, which won despite the cancellation of two games due to inclement weather.
Coach TY Tang won’t have time to savor the result as the Blazers return to action on Friday against Lyceum, a team coming off a thrilling victory over home side University of Perpetual Help in Las Pinas City last week.
Another win will enhance St. Benilde’s bid to reach the Final Four for the first time since 2002 when the school lost to San Sebastian College in the finals.
Justin Arana scored a career-high 25 points but Arellano dropped to 1-6.
ST. BENILDE 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.
ARELLANO 77 – Arana 25, Sablan 11, Salado 10, Espiritu 8, Talampas 6, Oliva 6, Alcoriza 5, Santos 5, Concepcion 1, Bayla 1, De Guzman 0.
Quarters: 18-13; 35-34; 60-52; 82-77.