San Sebastian defeats CSB, dedicates win to injured teammate
by rick olivares
The San Sebastian Stags found some good cheer in their second outing of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup with a 59-46 win over College of Saint Benilde at the Filoil Flying V Centre, Saturday, May 7.
After a week of bad luck where they lost high-scoring guard-forward Rhanzelle Yong to a season-ending knee injury during practice and their Filoil debut loss to Far Eastern University, the Golden Stags pounded on the woeful CSB Blazers all match long. The Stags pressed the Blazers into 22 turnovers of which they scored 16 points and harassed them into a woeful 29% field goal shooting, the worst in the 12 seniors matches played thus far.
Benilde had more free throw attempts than San Sebastian, 23-19, but the Blazers could only knock down 13 of them for a paltry 57% accuracy rate.
“We wanted to make a better effort especially after the loss to FEU,” said San Sebastian head coach Edgar Macaraya. “The game plan was to press Benilde from the start. We aren’t particularly tall so we have to turn what we can do defensively into a weapon.”
So bad was Benilde’s shooting that during the first half, they shot a pitiful 5-24, for a 33-19 deficit. The Blazers somewhat started the second half on a better note at they cut the led to eight, 39-31 after a bucket from Fil-American forward Yankee Haruna. Yet Alfren Gayosa, who returned to San Sebastian after playing for UST in the UAAP, struck for a four-point play and another triple to restore the lead to double digits.
Gayosa was a former San Sebastian Staglets star before he was recruited to play for UST by the Golden Tigers’ former head coach Bong dela Cruz. He returned to San Sebastian last season and sat out a year for his residency.
“He will be in important player for us,” underscored Macaraya about Gayosa, “especially after the injury to Yong. But more so, we want our second and third units to be consistent in their contributions if we want to perform well in the NCAA.”
“It’s good to be back in San Sebastian,” said Gayosa. “It’s home. But we had this burden heading into the match because of the injury to Yong. We dedicated this win to him.”
This will be the second straight season that Yong will miss for the Golden Stags. Last year, Yong played in the Premier Cup but was supposedly recrutied away by another school hence, his missing the NCAA. He returned in time to complete his residency but because of the injury that he suffered last Thursday, April 29, he will likewise miss NCAA Season 92.
Michael Calissan led the Stags with 15 points while Gayosa added 14. The Blazers had no players in double figures with swingman Chris Sta. Maria and Haruna scoring nine points each.
San Sebastian evened its Premier Cup slate at 1-1 while CSB fell to 0-2.
In Juniors action, reigning UAAP champions, the National University Bullpups defeated their FEU-FERN counterparts, 80-67, behind John Clemente and Neil Tolentino who each 16 points. Winderich Coyoca added 10 while Karl Peñano finished with 10.
The Baby Tamaraws were led by Jack Gloria’s 15 markers.