MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) extended its perfect start to three games after an 81-64 rout of University of Perpetual Help on Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Will Gozum tallied 16 points and 12 rebounds, as the Blazers remained the only undefeated team in the NCAA Season 98 men's basketball tournament. Miguel Corteza added 15 points in just 13 minutes of action, going 5-of-7 from the field.
After settling for a 33-32 lead at the half, the Blazers pulled away in the third period where they outscored Perpetual Help, 32-10. Gozum and Robi Nayve combined for 14 points in the pivotal frame to give CSB a comfortable 65-42 advantage.
"I give credit to the players because sa first half, our shots just weren't falling but they stuck with what we wanted, and eventually pumasok din," said CSB head coach Charles Tiu of their big-third quarter run.
The Blazers made 13 of their 19 field goals in the third period, including six three-pointers. In contrast, the Altas went 5-of-19 from the field and committed four turnovers that CSB converted to eight points.
Perpetual Help won the fourth quarter, 22-16, but the deficit was too big for them to overcome. The Altas dropped to 1-2 in the season with their second straight defeat.
Tiu said it was a measure of revenge for the Blazers, who were eliminated by Perpetual Help in the play-in tournament of NCAA Season 97.
"We wanted to kind of get back at the Perps for a while, kasi they eliminated us. Pasok na sana kami sa Final 4, pero ayun, kinapos because of this Perpetual team. They're a really good team, so I'm pleased with this win," said the coach.
Rey Barcuma had 14 points in the loss for Perpetual, while Kim Aurin added 13 points.
CSB 81 -- Gozum 16, Corteza 15, Nayve 12, Marcos 7, Flores 7, Oczon 6, Pasturan 6, Cullar 2, Sangco 2, Dimayuga 2, Cajucom 2, Davis 2, Mara 2, Carlos 0, Lepalam 0.
PERPETUAL 64 -- Barcuma 14, Aurin 13, Nitura 12, Flores 8, Abis 6, Omega 4, Martel 3, Egan 2, Razon 2, Ferreras 0, Cuevas 0, Roque 0.
Quarters: 13-17, 33-32, 65-42, 81-64.