SAN JUAN City – College of Saint Benilde needed big fourth period contributions from Justin Gutang, Edward Dixon and Unique Naboa to remain undefeated at the 12th FilOil Flying V Preaseason Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre Tuesday. The surprising Blazers took down erstwhile fellow undefeated squad Far Eastern University, 80-73, and pace Group B with three straight wins.
After Prince Orizu tied the game for the last time with a vicious two-handed dunk, 59-59, the Blazers went on a 9-0 run started and ended by triples from Gutang, 68-59. Dixon added two more field goals and Gutang sank two free throws off back to back technical fouls on Arvin Tolentino and Coach Olsen Racela to give them an imposing 10-point lead with 3:20 remaining, 76-66.
The Tamaraws showed signs of life with Jasper Parker canning a triple and Wendell Comboy adding a free throw to slightly threaten just into the two-minute warning, 70-76. Naboa then stepped up by making four pressure-packed free throws to seal the deal followed by a late triple from Brandrey Bienes to settle the final count.
“Before the game, I wrote on the board that we have to be bold and make a statement against a UAAP Final Four team like FEU,” said Coach Tyrone Tang. “We had a good start scoring the first eight points but FEU came back so I told the team at halftime to just be composed and play like how we started.”
Gutang led all scorers with 27 points plus five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Clement Leutcheu had a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Tolentino led FEU with 16 points and nine rebounds in the losing effort. Comboy followed with 10 points and four assists.
How They Scored:
SAINT BENILDE (80) –Gutang 27, Leutcheu 13, Dixon 12, Naboa 9, Haruna 7, Pasturan 5, Domingo 4, Carlos 3, Young 0, Pagulayan 0, Velasco 0, Belgica 0.
FAR EASTERN (73) – Tolentino 16, Comboy 10, Tuffin 9, Ebona 8, Cani 7, Bayquin 5, Escoto 5, Orizu 4, Parker 3, Inigo 3, Bienes 3, Nunag 0, Stockton 0, Ramirez 0.
Period Scores: 22-17, 38-39, 56-57, 80-73.