The College of St. Benilde Blazers will have to deal with two veterans, King Carilipio and Louie Sangalang, if they are to equalize their best-of-three finals series with the Letran Knights on Sunday in Game 2 of the 98th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 6’2 Carilipio and the 6’4 Sangalang did a lot of damage in the shaded lanes as they helped control the boards in Game 1, with an 81-75 win last Sunday.
“I try to encourage them that we can compete with this Letran team. They beat us three times. But the good is, this is a series,” said Blazers coach Charles Tiu.
Game time is slated at 3 p.m., and if the Knights win, they will claim their 20th cage crown since 1938.
The Letran Knights are not known to be a high-scoring team with an average of 74.25 points per game.
But they can limit rivals to just 70.3 points, with the help of their experienced players.
And this is where Knights coach Bonnie Tan counts on when he unleashes Carilipio and Sangalang on the floor.“It’s the composure of the veterans. Sabi ko sa kanila, gamitin nila ang advantage nila, which is their experience.
Three other veterans, Fran Yu, Brent Paraiso, and Kurt Reyson are expected to lift the Knights when they seek a two-game sweep of their championship series.
The Blazers were hit hardest by cramps and injuries in the third and fourth quarters, and they missed at least four key players, Will Gozum, Miggy Corteza, Nayve and Migs Oczon in the closing minutes of the game.
Oczon, who averaged 12.24 points, 4.94 rebounds, 2.59 assists, and 1.0 steals, is a doubtful starter in Game 2 after he landed on the foot of Letran’s Kyle Tolentino resulting in a sprain in the first quarter.
“Ang sabi ko sa kanila, we will not win if we just outscore Benilde. We just have to focus and correct on defense,” added Tan.
Tolentino won’t play in Game 2 after the management committee suspended him following a review of the game.
Knights player Paolo Javillonar was reprimanded for his unsportsmanlike behavior on Gozum, when he touched his butt repeatedly during the game, and he has been asked to apologize and warned that a stiffer penalty will be imposed on him if a similar act is again committed.