Title favorite Centro Escolar U turned back Diliman College on Saturday, 75-59, to sustain its unbeaten start 1st Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) yesterday at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.
Utilizing their hight advantage to the hilt, the multi-titled Scorpions took control early on, built a commanding 15-point buffer at the break and refused to let up on their way to their fourth straight victory in as many starts.
Diliman School, owned by former Senator Nikki Coseteng, repeatedly tried to mount a rally but could do nothing to stop the favored CEU side. The Blue Dragons slipped to 1-2.
In the second game, Bulacan State University snapped a two-game skid with a 104-93 win over University of Batangas.
Dominick Fajardo exploded for 43 points on top of 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals while Leonard De Leon ably supported him with 17 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and a steal as the Gold Gears evened their record to 2-2.
The Brahmans, which trailed by as many as 27 points in the final period, dropped their fourth straight outing.
Although Congolese center Rod Ebondo was used sparingly, Orlan Wamar and former pro league draftee Samboy de Leon took charge this time in leading the Scorpions’ beating over the Blue Dragons.
The 6-foot-6 Ebondo scored only six points and grabbed 13 boards, a far cry from his 20-point and 20-rebound show in the team’s masterful 81-65 victory over Technological Institute of the Philippines.
Wamar finished with 13 points while de Leon chipped 10 points as CEU moved within two wins from sweeping the first round elims of the tournament organized by UCAL and sponsored by Euro-med and Lamoiyan Corp.
In another show of force, eight Scorpions scored in the first two quarters compared to only four for the Blue Dragons. They shot a high 53.33 on 16 of 30 shooting in the first half to Diliman’s 31.43 percent.
CEU coach Yong Garcia, however, was not pleased with how his boys closed out the game.
“That’s really our problem. We are a slow starter. But it’s good we managed to pull through in the final half. However, we again allowed our opponent to threaten us in the final quarter,” said Garcia.
Romyl Journacion paced the Blue Dragons with a game-high 20 points.
CEU (75) – Wamar 13, De Leon S. 10, Casino 9, Opiso 8, Arim 6, Ebondo 6, Veron 5, Manlangit 5, Aquino 4, Guinitaran 3, Fuentes 2, Umeanozie 2, Quiminales 2, De Leon K. 0.
Diliman (59) – Journacion 20, Brutas 13, Bauzon 8, Angeles 7, Torrado 5, Sombero 2, Tay 2, Mondala 2, Alfaro 0, Salazar 0.
Quarterscores: 19-11, 40-25, 61-42, 75-59.
Bulacan State U (104) – Fajardo 43, De Leon L. 17, Mendoza A. 14, De la Cru 11, Reyes 7, Jauco 6, Necio 4, Bagay 2, Mendoza J. 0, Ignacio 0, Manalang 0.
U of Batangas (93) – Arboleda 16, Gabriel 15, Gotam 14, Abanador 14, Contorno 13, Yemeli 10, Ocampo 4, Heidelburg 2, Espiritu 2, Pericas 2, Calacalsada 1, Cervantes 0.
Quarterscores: 33-23, 59-46, 86-59, 104-93.