COLLEGE of St. Benilde snapped its four-game skid, defeating Lyceum, 87-73, on Thursday night in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball competition at The Arena in San Juan.
Taha fired a season-high 22 points, while Lastimosa, Bartolo, and Grey added 16, 14, and 13 markers, respectively for the Blazers, who improved to 4-8.
Entering the game just a half-game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Pirates, the Blazers made sure they came out with more spunk to avoid finishing the game at the bottom of the standings.
“We’re just finding small motivations to keep us going,” said Blazers coach Richard del Rosario, whose team has failed to live up to its preseason tag as contender. “Hindi na naming pinag-uusapan ang Final Four.”
The Blazers shot a blistering 61 percent from the field and limited the Pirates to just 35-percent shooting.
Chris Cayabyab exploded for a career-high 30 points, but failed to gain significant help from the rest of the Pirates, who lost their seventh straight game and 10th overall against only two wins.
Taha, Lastimosa, and Grey took turns in putting the cuffs on Cayabyab in the payoff period after seeing the Lyceum’s main offensive threat torch the net for 15 points in the third.
CSB (87) - Taha 22, Lastimosa 16, Bartolo 14, Grey 13, Sinco 8, Tan 4, Dela Paz 4, Altamirano 3, Deles 2, Carlos 1, Romero 0, Ongteco, Maconocido 0, Garcia 0
LPU (73) - Cayabyab 30, Zamora 12, Guevarra 11, Ko 9, Laude 7, Garcia 3, Martinez 1, Francisco 0, Azores 0, Alanes 0, Ambohot 0, Mallari 0, Pascual 0
Quarterscores: 26-20, 43-37, 61-58, 87-73