NCAA: Cortez and San Beda Triumph Over St. Benilde


NCAA: Cortez and San Beda Triumph Over St. Benilde

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Jacob Cortez and the San Beda Red Lions were on fire from beyond the arc, defeating College of St. Benilde 83-77 in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan.

Cortez, with four three-pointers, contributed 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists. The Red Lions collectively made 16 out of 36 long-distance attempts. While they led by as much as 20 points, they had to make key plays down the stretch to hold off the Blazers, who were spurred on by Miguel Oczon and Miggy Corteza. San Beda’s record improved to 2-1, while the Blazers dropped to 1-2.

A pivotal Yukien Andrada three-pointer with 1:35 left gave San Beda a 10-point lead at 82-74. However, Corteza’s layup and an Oczon three-pointer brought the Blazers within five points at 82-77 with one minute remaining. Unfortunately for the Blazers, they couldn’t capitalize further. A pass by Robi Nayve to Will Gozum was disrupted by Cortez, and Ray Carlos missed a layup in the final seconds.

Andrade finished with 15 points for the Red Lions, sinking three of his four attempts from beyond the arc. James Payosing was the only other San Beda player in double figures, contributing 13 points.

Oczon had 15 points, while Gozum added 14 points and 11 rebounds for St. Benilde. The Blazers struggled from long range, shooting just 5-of-26.

In an earlier match, Emilio Aguinaldo College handed defending champion Letran its third consecutive loss, winning 75-65. King Gurtiza was the standout with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and JP Maguliano achieved a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Deo Cuajao scored 12 points for the Knights, who had a 35.8% field goal shooting percentage.

Jose Rizal University also secured a victory, defeating Mapua University 70-61, thanks to an 18-point, 9-rebound performance by Patrick Ramos.


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