MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) coach TY Tang commended the Blazers' show of composure on Tuesday, after they figured in a "chippy" contest against the Perpetual Help Altas in the NCAA Season 95 men's basketball tournament.
The Blazers hacked out a 75-63 win, but not before needing to endure an eventful fourth period.
"It's part of culture and our environment in practice. We want to stay physical with how we play, but at the same time, we wanna make sure that if it goes chippy in there, we gotta make sure that we're mentally tough also," Tang said when asked about their show of composure.
"Be smart out there," he stressed.
The Blazers were clinging to a 62-57 lead with 4:24 to go, before they pounced on Perpetual Help's error-prone ways to pull away. The Altas lost three players to fouls, including big man Ben Adamos, and CSB shot 15 free throws in the final 4:38 of the game.
It soon turned into a testy affair with Perpetual Help contesting several calls. Jeff Egan was called for a technical foul after he made contact with a referee, and Aldeo Lucero committed an unsportsmanlike foul late in the game.
CSB's Kendrix Belgica was also called for an unsportsmanlike foul with 1:55 to go, but for the most part the Blazers powered through the final quarter with poise.
"I think for the most part, it was the breaks of the game," Tang also said, noting that both teams found themselves in penalty situation early.
"But I think, what mattered at the end of the game was our stretch of stops. Noong naka-stop ng naka-stop kami with their offense towards mid-fourth, dun na nagka-tapos eh," he added.
It helps that their core has been together for a long time, and they have gotten used to playing in such testy games together.
"There are some games that we just have to hang on and be tough inside. And, we worked through that in practice as well. It's just good today that our team really was cooler than the other team," said Tang.
The Blazers now get a 9-day break before returning to action against Mapua University.
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