MANILA, Philippines – Skipper Mark Romero went on a three-point shooting spree in the second half as the College of St. Benilde rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat San Sebastian, 80-74, Wednesday in the NCAA Season 90 men's basketball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
Romero exploded for five three-pointers – all in the second half – to finish with 25 points and help seal the Blazers' eighth victory against five defeats, which allowed them to stay within striking distance of the top four.
"He's the leader of this team, and he showed us why in this game," said Benilde coach Gabby Velasco of Romero.
The win avenged Benilde's heartbreaking 72-74 setback to San Sebastian in the first round, while putting the Blazers back on track after a disappointing 54-78 defeat to San Beda last Saturday.
"Our focus going into this game is to get a win and not dwell on the past," said Velasco.
The Stags went on attack mode early and built a 40-23 lead in the second quarter, but the Blazers unloaded a 10-0 blast to close out the frame and cut it to single digits, 40-33, at the break.
Romero then launched his shooting barrage to carry Benilde to victory.
Juan Paolo Taha and Jonathan Grey provided back-up with 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Jovit dela Cruz had 21 points for San Sebastian, while Bradwyn Guinto and Jaymar Perez chipped in 13 apiece.
The Stags, after playing well in the first half, lost steam in the end game and absorbed their ninth straight setback, and their tenth overall defeat against only three wins.
CSB 80 - Romero 25, Taha 19, Grey 18, Ongtenco 7, Sinco 5, Saavedra 4, Bartolo 2, Jonson 0, Nayve 0, Pajarillaga 0, Deles 0, Altamirano 0
SSC-R 74 - Dela Cruz 21,Guinto 13, Perez 13, Ortouste 9, Yong 6, Balucanag 4, Fabian 3, Santos 3, Camasura 2, Calisaan 0, Pretta 0
Quarters: 16-24; 33-40; 59-57; 80-74