Benilde’s Will Gozum (NCAA/GMA)

Miguel Corteza and Miguel Oczon connived to provide the scoring punch for the streaking College of St. Benilde, whipping Mapua with a 73-64 win in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

The name “Miguel” reverberated inside the venue as the Blazers, who improved to a 6-1 record, surged ahead with a 24-point outing in the third quarter. 

Corteza led all scorers with 17 points and four rebounds, Oczon finished with 14 points built on four triples along with eight rebounds, and Ladis Lepalam had 10 points and five rebounds.

Mark Sangco hauled eight points and nine rebounds while Will Gozum, who was relatively quiet this game compared to his previous outings, chipped in eight points and five rebounds for St. Benilde as well.

“I think sa team namin everyone can score. Coach Charles (Tiu) also gives us the green light — everyone the green light,” said Corteza. “To shoot when it’s open and pass it out kapag sobrang nape-pressure na and nado-double [team].

“But I think coach Charles has the confidence in everyone to make a play and to score,” he added.

The Cardinals were able to crawl back from an 11-point deficit and kept the match within striking distance at 53-51.

After all that effort, Mapua suffered a huge blow after Arvin Gamboa’s exit due to an apparent injury which turned the tides in favor of CSB in the end game.

The Blazers, capitalizing on the situation, once again erected a commanding 11-point margin with a 12-2 spurt capped by Oczon’s triple en route to a 62-51 lead.

With less than three minutes still left in the payoff period, Corteza continued the scoring barrage for St. Benilde and the assault proved to be too much to overcome for the embattled Mapua, which fell to a 0-8 hole.

Adrian Nocum paced the Cardinals with 15 points and seven rebounds while Warren Bonifacio posted 14 points and 11 rebounds. Gamboa also had 11 points and seven rebounds for Mapua. 

The Scores:

CSB 73 — Corteza 17, Oczon 14, Lepalam 10, Gozum 8, Sangco 8, Nayve 6, Carlos 4, Cullar 3, Pasturan 3, Marcos 0, Flores 0.

MAPUA 64 — Nocum 15, Bonifacio 14, Gamboa 11, Salenga 7, Lacap 6, Pido 5, Garcia 4, Hernandez 2, Soriano 0, Agustin 0, Parinas 0.

Quarters: 18-11, 29-29, 53-42, 73-64.

Source: Manila Bulletin (