MANILA, Philippines—College of St. Benilde coach Charles Tiu always challenges Will Gozum to step up for his team but with the Final Four season looming, there are two players he wants to contribute bigger.
Oczon and Corteza, the two “Migs” of the Blazers, were huge factors in the squad’s 100-88 win against Lyceum on Friday but Tiu wants them to reach their peaks before the postseason.
“He’s (Corteza) a big boost for us but I keep telling him to get more rebounds if he wants to win any awards because rebounds matter. His improvement though, from last season has been great,” said the head tactician.
The wingman finished with 13 points but with four turnovers and only three rebounds.
Oczon, on the other hand, was tied with Gozum and Enoch Valdez for the highest score in the Blazers’ win with 18 points but on a lowly 33.3 percent shooting from the field, sinking only one shot from six attempts in the three-point area.
That, however, is not much of a concern for Tiu as he wants the guard to be more efficient even on defense.
“The challenge for Oczon is to be a complete player on both ends of the floor. That’s the growth we look forward to for him, not just shooting because when I recruited him I already knew he could shoot,” he explained.
MVP frontrunner Gozum powered Benilde with another double-double with 18 markers and 11 boards.
With two games left in the elimination round, the top coach ultimately wants to see everybody stepping up in the big moments and not shy away from the spotlight.
“Hopefully, these guys will not be afraid of the big moments when it comes to the playoffs.”
The Blazers will play Arellano and San Beda before their Final Four stint. They currently hold a 12-4 record, tied with defending champion Letran, which has the same record.
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