The College of Saint Benilde saved its best for last.
On the brink of being the first winless team in NCAA history, the Blazers willed their way to score a come-from-the-grave 65-61 upset of the Lyceum Pirates in their final game of the 92nd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the San Juan Arena on Friday.
The Blazers crawled back from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit and reclaimed the lead through Yankie Haruna and-one conversion, 57-55 with 3:10 remaining.
Shaquille Alanes put Lyceum back on top with a baseline jumper, 59-61, in the 1:34 marker but CSB import Clement Leutcheu’s putback and bonus freethrow quickly erased that lead.
Franz Pasamante’s scoop layup with under 25 second virtually sealed the victory for the Blazers.
“This is a very emotional win for us, not only for me, but for everybody as well. We’ve been waiting for this day to come, but at least, we’re able to salvage one,” head coach Gabby Velasco said after the win.
Leutcheu paced the Blazers with 18 points, 14 scored in the second quarter.
While CSB salvaged their last game of the season, it however exits the year with a league all-time worst 1-17 record.
Lyceum on the other hand has the second worst record this year with a 6-12 record. – By John Chester Fajardo
CSB 65 – Leutcheu 18, Dixon 12, Haruna 11, Fajarito 9, Young 6, Pasamante 5, Sta. Maria 2, Domingo JS 2, Castor 0, Domingo JJ 0, Suarez 0, Pajarillaga 0, Belgica 0, Pili 0
LPU 61 – Caduyac 11, Baltazar 11, Nzeusseu 10, Alanes 8, Marata 6, Soliman 4, Malabanan 4, Ayaay 2, Bulawan 2, Alban 2, Gabayni 1, Magbuhos 0, Soriano 0, Rubite 0, Serafico 0
Quarterscores: 18-13, 26-30, 41-47, 65-61