COLLEGE of St. Benilde tries to put a heartbreaking defeat behind as it takes on Emilio Aguinaldo College in a battle of the remaining winless teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Coming off a stinging 71-70 loss to defending champion San Beda two weeks ago when a late defensive lapse negated their fightback from a double-digit deficit, the Blazers face the Generals at 4 p.m.
“It was a sorry loss for us, but we learned from it and hopefully we’ll play smarter from now on,” Blazers coach Gabby Velasco said.
With Velasco, a multi-titled mentor with St. Francis of Assisi in two collegiate leagues, the Blazers showed the Lions why they are no pushovers anymore as they rallied from a 61-48 deficit early in the fourth quarter behind Mark Romero and Paolo Taha.
It seemed Fons Saavedra completed the Blazers’ comeback when he hit the triple that gave the Blazers their first lead of the game, before the rookie forward cost his team the game when he let his man, Art dela Cruz, score on an alley-oop play in the next possession.
The Blazers now hope to avoid late-game mistakes against a reeling Generals side that has lost its first two games of the season, the latest a 79-74 defeat at the hands of Letran last week.
The Generals are hoping to get solid production from frontline players Cedric Happi Noube and Jolas Paguia and swingmen Jan Jamon and Igee King.