The College of St. Benilde Blazers need to come up with another great showing against the defending champion Letran Knights in Game 3 of the 86th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball finals.
Doing better than what they did in Game 2 will help the Blazers end a 20-year title drought.
Game 3 is at 3 p.m. at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“They’re such a great team. It’s tough to go against them. They’re so well-coached,” said Blazers coach Charles Tiu, who is seeking to become the second mentor to hand CSB a championship after Dong Vergeire did it back in 2002.
The Knights will miss point guard Fran Yu, who will be suspended in the team’s final game for the season.
Yu, a key figure in the Letran Knights championship outings over the last three years, was ejected in Game 2 with 5:29 left in the second quarter with the Knights leading, 33-25 after he threw an elbow on Blazers cager Mark Sangco.
Season MVP Will Gozum, a transferee from the University of the Philippines, played above his averages of 17.17 points, 9.61 rebounds, 1.83 assists, and 1.11 blocks, and is expected to play his best once again.
“We need him. We need very good performances from every one of our players,” added Tiu.
Knights coach Bonnie Tan said their bid to keep the title this time around will be a different experience.
“Kung defending champion kami last season, last season yon. E ngayon iba naman so siguro ngayon we have the advantage ngayon,” said Tan.