Blazers sink Tams, wrest Filoil lead

MANILA, Philippines — St. Benilde continued to impress as it upended Far Eastern U, 80-73, stretching its win run to three even as UST snapped a two-game skid with a 98-88 victory over Jose Rizal U in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

Fil-Am rookie Justin Gutang hit two triples early in the fourth, sparking and capping the Blazers’ big 9-0 run that shattered a 59-all count and gave the Taft-based squad a nine-point cushion it preserved till the finish for a leading 3-0 card in Group B.

In its victory over Lyceum, St. Benilde turned the ball over 28 times but limited its errors to 18 against FEU while forcing the Tams to 21 turnovers which the Blazers translated into a whopping 23-8 advantage in turnover points.

Gutang finished with 27 points he spiked with two slams while Clement Leutcheu added 13 markers and Edward Dixon finished with 12 points.

Arvin Tolentino top scored for FEU with 16 points while Wendell Comboy added 10 markers.

In another Group B clash, Renzo Subido sizzled with 24 points while Enrique Caunan, Nat Consejo, and Zamora added 13 markers apiece as the undermanned Tigers nailed their first victory after back-to-back losses.

“This is a big win for us,” said UST coach Aldin Ayo, who won two titles with Letran in the NCAA and La Salle in the UAAP in his first year at the helm.

The Tigers nearly blew a 22-point bulge, 65-43, in the third period as the Bombers came through with four triples to threaten at 83-86 with 4:08 left in the contest.