Not an ordinary loss

Arellano 82, CSB 72

Binabato niyo yung season niyo!”

“Asan yung puso niyo?!”

“You left your balls and your heart somewhere else!”

Some choice words for the Blazers, courtesy of Coach Richard del Rosario, during the halftime break. Coach didn’t let the boys out of the dugout without a serious warning:

“Lumabas na yung mga gusto pang lumaban. Yung mga hindi, umuwi na kayo!”

Actually, there were a lot more unquotable quotes that was heard by everyone inside the CSB dugout. I am not going to write them down here because of its highly-explicit content.A clear indication of the first-year coach’s frustration towards the team’s performance. Understandable, given the fact that the team was finally playing well towards the end of the first round. Their teambuilding and recent practices also gave hope to the team’s chances to make it to the final four.

That was until they took the court Wednesday afternoon against Gio Ciriacruz and the Arellano Chiefs.

Ciriacruz led the fluid Chiefs offensive, scoring 31 markers and grabbing a whopping 16 rebounds. No Benilde big man could stop Ciriacruz. So CSB went to their seldom-used guard Jorey Tajonera. Yes, that’s a guard pitted against a center.

Tajonera not only did a solid job pressuring Ciriacruz in the 4th quarter, he actually led a furious Blazer rally from 20 points down, capped by Mac Abolucion‘s lay-in to snatch the lead at 72-70. But that was about it. Benilde would not score up until the final buzzer. By then, the Chiefs have already scored 82 points.

Coach Richard angrily criticized the so-so play of the Blazers’ big men: “Mahiya kayo sa balat niyo!”. The Blazers’ bigs were ineffective in the 2nd half, forcing coach Richard to put in an all-guard lineup that eventually fueled the late rally. Also, coach Richard told the guys that their final four hopes are slowly dying, and that it would take “a minor miracle” for them to get to the top four.

The vets were not sent home without a harsh tounge-lashing from coach Richard. He said that this game might post a serious threat on their plans of playing ball after college. He said that people might remeber them for giving away games like this. He also criticized top gunner Jeff Morial for his awful performance. Morial, bothered by a sore knee, was not able to score a point in 31 minutes of action. “Sa bano kong ‘to, kayang kaya kong maka-score kahit isang puntos sa 31 minutes na yan!”, jabbed coach Richard.

Overall, it was pretty hardcore back in that CSB dugout. The room fell silent and it took minutes before some players got dressed and left. Indeed, this was “not an ordinary loss” because of its many implications, particularly, the team’s placing in the standings. The Blazers are in solo sixth, 2 games behind both Arellano and the Letran Knights. If the Blazers want to squeeze in the final four picture, it will be up to them to do so.

Scores:
Arellano 82 – G. Ciriacruz 31, Celada 17, I. Ciriacruz 8, Rivera 6, Apostol 6, Tayongtong 5, Agustin 4, Reducto 3, Anquilo 2, Miranda 0.
St. Benilde 72 – Dalanon 14, Abolucion 12, Tajonera 11, Manlapaz 10, Johnston 6, Urra 6, Montecastro 4, Umlas 3, Manalac 2, dela Paz 2, Argamino 2, Tan 0, Morial 0.
Quarter scores: 17-11; 38-22; 60-51; 82-72.

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