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NCAA: Charles Tiu proud of how Blazers ‘didn’t fight back’ as Amores charges CSB bench

Aftermath of the brawl between JRU Heavy Bombers and St. Benidle Blazers. –ROMMEL FUERTEST

Aftermath of the brawl between JRU Heavy Bombers and St. Benidle Blazers. –ROMMEL FUERTEST

MANILA, Philippines—After a violent ending to the College of St. Benilde and Jose Rizal University match, Blazers coach Charles Tiu remained proud of his team with how they reacted.

With 3:22 left in the game, an ugly brawl ensued between the two teams as  John Amores of the Heavy Bombers ran amok and started throwing a flurry of punches that hit several Blazers.

That prompted the league to end the game prematurely and give the win to CSB, 71-51.

“It’s an unfortunate situation but in a way, I’m proud that, for the most part, our guys held it together and didn’t fight back. To us, we’re just trying to play basketball and our goal is to win a championship. We’re not out there trying to start fights,” said Tiu.

Tiu said he had already started subbing out some of his players in an effort to save them from more physicality, adding his team heard directions from the other bench to “foul hard.”

“I was taking out my best players to make sure they don’t get hurt. They were complaining they were being hit all game long and they were hearing the people from the bench telling them to foul hard,” he explained.

Tiu also acknowledged Amores’ past of losing his cool in the court but still wished him well.

“The person involved has been in the same situation before[…] It happens, basketball is physical but I don’t think there’s any need to charge across the bench if he was being heckled by somebody. I pray for Amores and just, bless his soul.”

Blazers coach Charles Tiu after the violent finish to the CSB-JRU game in the #NCAASeason98. The NCAA declared CSB the winner after the game was halted due to the brawl with the Blazers in the lead, 71-51. | via Melo Fuertes, Inquirer Sports

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, November 8, 2022

The NCAA has yet to announce the sanctions for the players involved in the melee but Amores was immediately escorted out of the court after the incident.

Prior to the NCAA’s 98th season, Amores threw a punch at University of the Philippines’ Mark Gil Belmonte resulting in his indefinite suspension in the PG Flex Linoleum-UCBL Preseason Tournament.

The Blazers, meanwhile, are staying focused on the task at hand, which is clinching a Final Four spot and ultimately winning an NCAA title.

“We play basketball, we get screamed at by fans all game long. You just have to be above it and play. I don’t know about their side but for us we focus on basketball and respect the game. We don’t teach anybody to punch or hurt anybody,”  said Tiu.

Jimboy Pasturan, who was dealt with a black eye from an Amores punch, scored 18 points, four rebounds and three assists. Will Gozum also finished with a double-double for CSB with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Marwin Dionisio snagged 18 markers and eight boards in a losing effort for the Heavy Bombers.

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