The College of Saint Benilde Blazers subdued the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 73-66, on Tuesday to post their first win in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City on Tuesday.
Jonathan Grey, John Alfonso Saavedra and Travis Jonson played with relentless aggression all throughout the 40-minute match to secure their first win in three matches. The Generals, with the defeat dropped at the bottom of the standings with Lyceum Pirates that are also winless in two games.
Grey finished with 19 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals while Saavedra had 14 including three triples. Jonson, on the other hand, finished with 18 points that include three triples to secure the Blazers’ first victory.
The Blazers started strong and led 9-1 before closing the opening canto at 18-7 behind the shooting prowess of Jonson, Saavedra and Jeffrey Ongteco.
The trio enabled the team to post a 16-point lead (55-39) concluded by Gerard Castor’s trey late in the third period.
Emilio Aguinaldo College’ Chirst Mejos, Raymund Pascua and Hamadou Laminou initiated a 16-5 run to reduce their rivals lead to only five points, 55-60. But that proved to be the Generals last gasp of air as Jonson completed a rare four-point play off a foul by Jose Remy Morada to bring back the General’s deficit to 11 points, 66-55, with only 2:17 remaining in the game.
“We held them to just seven points in the first quarter and that helped us regain our confidence after two straight losses,” said Saint Benilde College coach Gabby Velasco.
In the high school division, Saint Benilde-De La Salle-Greenhills trounced the EAC Brigadiers, 72-61, to improve their record to 2-1. In the other game, last year’s runner up Mapua routed Perpetual Help, 87-51 improving its record to 2-1.