Golden Stags prevail over Blazers

15 08 2007

San Sebastian College used a blazing second half performance to overpower College of Saint Benilde, 75-58, last August 15 and keep its Final Four campaign alive in the 83rd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Stags, behind the hot hands of guard Jim Viray, dropped a crippling attack 24-14 run in final quarter to a 4-5 record for a fourth place position in the standings.

Viray, who led San Sebastian with 23 points on a 6-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc, gave the Stags their biggest lead, 69-53, after a backbreaking back-to-back three-point baskets with only 2:47 minutes in the last quarter.

“We only need to win two of our three remaining games to force a playoff,” said Stags mentor Jorge Gallent. “But I keep reminding my players to be more aggressive each game to do it.”

The Blazers, who absorbed their ninth straight loss after 10 games, couldn’t sustain their impressive showing in the first half.

After taking a 25-18 lead with 5:27 minutes left in second period, Saint Benilde lost it as San Sebastian unleashed a 7-3 run capped by the three-point play of Bulawan to narrow the gap, 27-28, with 12 seconds left before halftime.

Gilbert Bulawan added 12 points and center Jason Ballesteros pulled down 16 rebounds for the Stags.

Kris Robles paced the Blazers with 19 points.

The Scores:

SSC-R 75: Viray 23, Bulawan 12, Raymundo 7, Ballesteros 7, Najorda 7, Del Rio 6, De Leon 5, Aquino 4, Zulueta 4, Delgado 0.

CSB 58: Robles 19, Johnston 10, Sevilla 9, Porras 6, Cabatu 5, Manlapaz 4, David 3, Montecastro 2, Layug 0, Urra 0.

Quarter scores: 13-15, 27-28, 51-44, 75-58

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