Cagulangan takes charge, tows Jr. Blazers into solo first

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COMING UP BIG. Joel Cagulangan was a wonderful one-man show for CSB-LSGH in the final frame of their matchup against San Beda.

STANDINGS

CSB-LSGH – 3-0

Malayan – 2-0

San Beda – 2-1

Arellano – 1-1

Letran – 1-1

LPU – 1-1

Perpetual – 1-1

EAC – 0-2

JRU – 0-2

San Sebastian – 0-2

Transferees Inand Fornillos and Albert Bordeos have proven to be big boosts for College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills now in the 93rd Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Still, the Junior Blazers are, first and foremost, Joel Cagulangan’s show to run.

Cagulangan put on a show on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Arena, up against powerhouse San Beda High School no less, and showed his team the way to a big-time 82-78 win.

The veteran pointman dropped 25 points, 11 coming in the last six minutes, to energize CSB-LSGH onto a place alone atop the leaderboard at 3-0. “He’s a smart kid and there’s too much leadership in him,” head coach Marvin Bienvenida said, nothing but appreciative of the efforts of his prized ward.

From a one-point lead inside the last seven minutes, Cagulangan put his team on his back for a 77-72 advantage with 39.3 ticks to go.

Prince Etrata and Evan Nelle kept the Red Cubs alive and kicking, however, and still threatening at 78-79 with 18 seconds left.

Sent to the line, the Junior Blazers’ court general made the first and missed the second. Ain Obenza got the rebound for San Beda and took it all the way to their side of the court, but had his attempt roll around the rim and out.

Seconds later, former Red Cub Bordeos converted his charities to put the finishing touches on CSB-LSGH’s big-time win.

Bordeos contributed 12 points, five assists, and four rebounds while Inand Fornillos, a Mythical Team member in the UAAP Juniors a year ago, posted a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double on top of five blocks.

With the win, the Junior Blazers broke a three-way tie for first-place with San Beda and defending champion Malayan High School of Science. “It’s good to be 3-0, but we will not settle with this,” Bienvenida expressed.

For San Beda, Peter Alfaro and Josh Tagala top-scored with 14 points apiece.

Without an answer for Cagulangan in the final frame, however, they suffer their first setback in three games.

In the day’s other game, Colegio de San Juan de Letran barged into the win column following an 85-81 triumph over Emilio Aguinaldo College.

Kiefer Cordero starred with 21 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Kobe Monje also had an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double to help the Squires improve to 1-1.

Maui Cruz poured in 25 points on top of six rebounds and five assists, but those were all for naught as the Brigadiers lost again.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

LETRAN 85 – Cordero 21, Monje 18, Labrador 11, Tolentino 8, Valdez 6, Peralta 5, Ganapathy 5, Reyson 3, Aniban 3, Tamayo 2, Fuentes 2, Guarino 1, Montes 0, Tabajen 0, Culanay 0

EAC 81 – Cruz 25, Boado 12, Dulatre 9, De Quiros 8, Baliquig 7, Santillan 5, Oriondo 5, Castillo 5, Mananquil 3, Tapales 2, Matilde 0, Diaz 0, Mostoles 0

QUARTER SCORES: 20-19, 44-36. 69-56, 85-81

SECOND GAME

CSB-LSGH 82 – Cagulangan 25, Bordeos 12, Fornillos 10, David 9, Marcos 8, Mosqueda 7, Sangco 4, Lao 2, Morales 2, Lepalam 2, Cruz 1

SAN BEDA 78 – Alfaro 14, Tagala 14, Obenza 13, Nelle 11, Etrata 7, Barbero 7, Abu Hijleh 4, Velasquez 2, Nayve 2, Lagumen 2, Mahinay 2, Sese 0

QUARTER SCORES: 20-18, 40-34, 61-60, 82-78

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