Blazing Benilde, San Beda battle EAC, San Sebastian to extend streak

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde and San Beda University will look to stretch their sudden surge when they take on Emilio Aguinaldo College and San Sebastian College-Recoletos, respectively, on Friday in the NCAA Season 99.

Benilde (4-3) is out to make it four wins in a row as it clashes with EAC (4-3) at 2 p.m. while San Beda will vie for its third consecutive win against San Sebastian (3-5) at 4 p.m. in bid to strengthen its hold of the second spot at 5-2.

With the backcourt leadership of Migs Oczon and Robi Nayve, the Blazers have suddenly built a momentum in the tournament, beating the likes of San Sebastian, Perpetual, and Arellano despite the struggles of reigning MVP Will Gozum and veteran Miggy Corteza.

Oczon is the current leading scorer for Benilde with 16.71 points on top of 3.0 rebounds, 2.86 assists, and 1.57 steals while team captain Nayve has 14.0 markers, 4.0 boards, and and 3.86 dimes.

Benilde head coach Charles Tiu stressed they would need both Gozum and Corteza in their upcoming games. The 6-foot-4 Gozum, although averaging 10.67 points, is only having 6.83 rebounds per game while Corteza is posting 4.71 boards.

"I think both guys are really good players and competitors. I'm sure they know what's lacking in them. I keep challenging them and I trust them a lot and I know they will figure it out sooner or later," said Tiu.

"We need both of them for sure as they are my two best big men by far."

They would definitely need all the help they can, especially against the Generals who are third in the league in terms of rebounds. The Generals have beaten some powerhouse teams like Lyceum, Perpetual, and Letran behind King Gurtiza, JP Maguliano, and Nat Cosejo.

In the second game, San Beda is tipped to continue its winning ways with Jacob Cortez, Jomel Puno, Yukien Andrada, and Peter Alfaro expected to lead the way anew against San Sebastian.

The Red Lions are currently just two wins and one loss behind league-leading Mapua in the ladder and are coming off twin victories against JRU and Perpetual while the Stags are reeling from an 86-71 loss to Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which served as the Knights' first win after a dubious 0-7 start.

—JKC, GMA Integrated News

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