Will Gozum flexed his MVP form early in the game after dropping 15 points at the end of the first quarter, scoring from the paint and beyond the arc to lead the Blazers to an 84-81 victory over Jose Rizal University.

The Bombers backed up a slow start in the second half, trailing by as much as 15 points before Joshua Guiab turned things around and ended the third frame to a single-possession ball game.

JRU team captain Ry Dela Rosa hit a long bomb to put the game in a 62-all deadlock.

Gozum came alive once again helping Benilde unleash a 13-0 run on its way to another double-digit lead, 75-62.

But JRU will not go down without a fight, Guiab fueled a 7-0 run to cut the lead within four and Jonathan Medina’s hangtime basket puts JRU within a two-point lead, 81-79.

JL Delos Santos missed the chance to give JRU the lead with a long trey which was followed by Benilde’s team captain Robi Nayve splitting from the charity stripe, 84-81.

Gozum’s game-winning block on the returning Marwin Dionisio delivered the finish for the Blazers.

JRU still had two opportunities to extend the game to overtime but Benilde’s defense prevailed. Shawn Argente airballed a long bomb that was heavily challenged by Migz Oczon and Marwin Dionisio’s last attempt was thwarted away by Gozum.

Gozum finished the ball game with 27 points, five rebounds, and a block, while his frontcourt partner Miggy Corteza added 18 markers.

The scores:

CSB 84 - Gozum 27, Corteza 18, Oczon 14, Nayve 9, Marcos 6, Sangco 4, Arciaga 4, Carlos 2, Cajucom 0, Turco 0, Mara 0

JRU 81 - Guiab 23, Delos Santos 14, Miranda 12, Dionisio 11, De Leon 7, Dela Rosa 5, Pabico 4, Argente 3, Medina 2, Sarmiento 0, Sy 0, Ramos 0

Quarterscores: 27-12; 48-34; 62-59; 84-81