Centro Escolar University came through with a big second quarter assault to roll past University of Batangas, 88-60 and gain a piece of the lead in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) on Friday at the Olivarez Sports Center in Paranaque City.
The CEU Scorpions led by just two points in the first 10 minutes of play, but outscored the Brahmans in the next frame, 24-14 to grab 44-32 halftime lead through the efforts of Carlo Casino, Ehsan Veron, Oliver Arim and Jason Opiso.
Showing no mercy, CEU held UB to just 11 points in third to practically settle the outcome of the game as they raced to a 67-43 lead.
With the win, the Scorpions tied idle the Technological Institute of the Philippines for the lead at 2-0.
The win gives CEU a timely boost as it faces TIP next Monday in showdown between the two title favorites in the tournament sponsored by Euro-Med and Lamoiyan Corp.
“We have a slow start. Good thing the boys overcame the predicament and played well in the final half. We are prepared for this tourney, but we have still so many things to improve. That’s what we are going to work on the rest of the tourney,” said CEU coach Yong Garcia.
Aside from their impressive shooting, Garcia also credited their pressure defense for the win, especially in the final half where they forced the Brahmans to commit numerous turnovers.
CEU’s winning margin was the largest so far in the tournament – thanks to a well-balanced attack. They took their biggest lead at 29 points (85-53) on a Veron jumper.
Casino led the Scorpions with 14 points aside from posting three rebounds and three assists, while Veron completed a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
In the second game, Olivarez College thwarted a late rally by Diliman College to pull off a 72-64 win and improve to 2-1 slate. Provil Bermudez and Vin Belaso starred for the Sea Lions as they scored clutch baskets down the stretch to end Diliman’s rally.
CEU 88 – Casino 13, Veron 12, Arim 11, Opiso 10, Fuentes 8, De Leon S. 8, De Leon K. 6, Aquino 6, Ebondo 5, Manlanguit 4, Quiminales 2, Guinitaran 2, Wamar 0.
UB 60 – Calacalsada 13, Gotam 8, Abanador 8, Gabriel 7, Pericas 6, Pentinio 6, Arboleda 4, Heidelburg 3, Cervantes 3, Contorno 2, Yemili 0, Ocampo 0.
Quarterscores: 20-18, 44-32, 67-43, 88-60
Olivarez 72 – Bermudez 19, Belaso 10, Singh 9, Solis 8, Rabe 6,Geronimo 4, Uduba 4, Sunga 3, Rabusa 3, Saguiguit 2, Almejada 2, Sala 2, Diaz 0.
Diliman 64 – Journacion 17, Brutas 14, Terrado 11, Somberto 9, Bauzon 4, Mondala 3, Tay, Cecilio 2, Handag 2, Alfaro0, Corpuz .0
Quarterscores: 26-13, 40-21,59-42, 72-64