ST. Benilde inched closer to the quarterfinals of the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup, holding off Arellano, 86-78, on Wednesday in San Juan.
Miggy Corteza poured nine of his 14 points in the Blazers' 26-point third quarter where they enjoyed an 18-point lead, 65-47 entering the payoff period which grew to its biggest at 20, 75-55, with 6:33 left.
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But the Chiefs refused to back down, with Cade Flores anchoring a 12-0 spurt to help his side get to within eight, 75-67 with 4:14 to play.
Kai Oliva pushed Arellano within four, 82-78, with a layup in the last 23.8 seconds, but Sidney Mosqueda and Michael Mara put the game on lock at the free throw line for St. Benilde.
"It's a good win for us. I was happy that I was able to let everybody play and give some guys some valuable minutes, but I'm not happy with the way we ended. Luckily, we were able to escape with the win. Ok na kami for three quarters but in the end, medyo bumigay," quipped coach Charles Tiu as he awaits his side's fate in the playoffs.
The Blazers hold a 5-3 card in Group A and will earn a quarterfinal seat if National University beats Emilio Aguinaldo College later in the day.
Migs Oczon drained three treys and woud up with 11 points, three boards, three assists, and three steals, as Jimboy Pasturan got 11 points, nailing three triples off the bench for St. Benilde, which shot 12-of-28 from deep in the contest.
Flores paced Arellano (1-5) with a do-it-all performance of 26 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and three blocks in the loss.
Sr. Benilde 86 - Corteza 14, Oczon 11, Pasturan 11, Mosqueda 9, Flores 9, Gozum 8, Sangco 6, Carlos 4, Marcos 4, Cullar 3, Sumabat 2, Mara 2, Nayve 0, Serrano 0.
Arellano 78 - Flores 26, Oliva 12, Valencia 11, Doromal 8, Mallari 7, Oftana 5, Tolentino 5, Sunga 2, Talampas 2, Menina 0, Punzalan 0, Travis 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18; 37-30; 65-47; 86-78.