Blazers hope to use speed and shooting to make up for lack of height in NCAA Season 91 basketball
Gabby Velasco pins his hopes on Jonathan Grey, one third of his big three last season. Jerome Ascano 

COLLEGE of St. Benilde hopes to use speed and shooting to make up for the lack of height as it view for honors in the 91st NCAA basketball tournament starting on Saturday at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

"We'll be a little smaller this year but we'll be faster and a little more determined," said Blazers coach Gabby Velasco.

Relying on small-ball anchored on Mark Romero, Juan Paolo Taha and Jonathan Grey, the Blazers fell a win short of making the Season 90 semifinals, winding up fifth with an 11-7 (win-loss) record. 

But Romero and Taha have turned pro, leaving Grey to take over as leader.

"It's tough when you lose two of your top three players," said Velasco. "But as always, we have made do with what we have and maximize in areas we feel we're strong at."

Still with the team is NCAA three-point shooting champion Travis Jerome Jonson and undersized frontcourt men Pons Saavedra, Jeffrey Ryan Ongteco and Ralp Deles.

Velasco also has strong hopes that new guys Gerard Castor, Edward Dixon, John Domingo, Christian Fajarito, Amando San Juan, Rene Sta. Maria and Carlo Michael Young would learn quick and contribute.

"This is college basketball, we have to be always ready to rebuild because players can only play as much as five years," said Velasco.

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