IT seems the College of St. Benilde Blazers have yet to shed their tag as the heartbreak kids of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Different season, same problem for the wards of coach Gabby Velasco.
“We lack the mental toughness,” Velasco said after the Blazers’ 72-74 loss to San Sebastian on Friday in a game where they fought back from a double-digit, only to fall short.
It was the second straight close defeat and third overall for the Blazers, who rallied from 23 points down against Jose Rizal University before folding, 61-69 last Monday.
Against the Stags, the Blazers came within two points, but committed a few errors down the stretch, including an errant pass by Paolo Taha off a timeout.
In their last offensive possession, Jonathan Grey forced up a desperation triple off a broken play that was designed for a post-up by Mark Romero that didn’t materialize.
“We cannot think properly, we cannot make good decisions during the endgame,” Velasco said. “Hopefully next time wer’e going to be wiser in these situations.”
But the Blazers wouldn’t have to play catch-up if they didn’t let the Stags pull away in the third quarter.
“Bottomline, hindi dapat lumayo kalaban sa amin,” said Velasco, who could do nothing but to look at the positives of the result.
“We showed signs that we can catch up.”
Claiming a first victory will be tough for the Blazers, who face another tough test in University of Perpetual Help on Wednesday.