SAN JUAN CITY – San Sebastian College welcomed new head coach Edgar Macaraya with a defense-oriented win against College of Saint Benilde, 54-49, in continuing action from the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the San Juan Arena Sunday (June 26). The Stags found the Blazers a tough nut to crack, banking on free throw shooting to save the day.
Michael Calisaan showed no effects from a recent motorcycle accident that cost him a pair of teeth by scoring back-to-back baskets to give San Sebastian a commanding 50-36 lead in the fourth period. Suddenly, Saint Benilde unloaded nine unanswered points starring Yankie Haruna, Christian Fajarito and capped with an Alfonso Saavedra triple to threaten with 2:22 remaining, 45-50.
Calisaan was yet done as he scored on an offensive rebound off a missed free throw by Aljon Capobres at exactly the two-minute warning, 52-45. The Blazers refused to surrender, countering with two straight baskets by Saavedra and JJ Domingo come to their closest with 1:05 on the clock, 49-52.
The Stags turned to their defense, forcing the Blazers to give up fouls to stop the clock. Capobres and Ian Valdez settled the final tally with free throw splits.
“We are a small team and we have no star players so I guess we will turn to our defense for this season,” said Coach Edgar Macaraya. “Our poor shooting may be caused by opening day jitters but we will take this win and build from it.”
Jerrick Fabian set the tone for the Stags’ romp by scoring 10 of his team-best 12 points in the first half to go with five rebounds. “As one of the senior players, it is my job to guide my younger teammates,” said Fabian.
Domingo paced the Blazers with 10 points and two steals. Saavedra followed with nine points, four rebounds and two assists.
How They Scored:
SAN SEBASTIAN (54) – Fabian 12, Calisaan 8, Ilagan 8, Capobres 5, Valdez 5, Bulanadi 4, Baetiong 4, Costelo 2, David 2, Serajosef 2, Johnson 1, Gayosa 1, Mercado 0, Quipse 0, Miguel 0.
SAINT BENILDE (49) – JJ Domingo 10, Saavedra 9, Young 8, Fajarito 8, Haruna 6, Leutcheu 3, Dixon 2, Pasamante 1, San Juan 1, Belgica 1, Pili 0, Pajarillaga 0, JS Domingo 0, Sta. Maria 0, Castor 0.
Period Scores: 17-13, 31-19, 42-30, 54-49.