DEFENDING champion Olivarez College wielded the upset ax against newcomer Lyceum-Laguna, 87-84, in overtime to pick up its second straight win in the NCRAA men’s basketball tournament at the Ugnayang La Salle Gym in La Salle-Dasmariñas.
With head coach Mike Saguiguit deciding to take a breather and watching from the sidleines, the Sea Lions had to be guided by assistant coach Stephen Mopera, who got his baptism of fire coaching the team in pressure-laden situations.
In the end, Mopera got a big lift from his veterans – Vinny Begaso and Harold Sala – in surviving Lyceum, which led 40-36 at the half, and was poised to pull off an upset.
The game needed an extra five-minute stretch before Begaso muscled his way, scoring six points in overtime. His basket in the last 28 seconds put the Sea Lions on top, 86-84.
After Lordy Geronimo came up with a big stop at the other end to deny the Pirates an opportunity to level the count, Harold Sala split his charities for the final tally.
Joining Olivarez as the day’s winners were St. Francis of Assisi College, host team La Salle-Dasmariñas and Philippine Merchant Marine School.
The Doves demolished Pamantasan Ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, 77-65, as Avi Arellano presided with big baskets in the final three minutes to tow his team to victory.
It was the second win in three starts for the Doves.
La Salle-Dasmariñas walloped Asian Institute of Maritime Studies, 104-67, for their second straight win in this tournament.
The Patriots unloaded a quick 10-0 run to put away the Blue Sharks, who were not able to recover and dropped to their second straight loss, 16 overall counting their performance last season.
PMMS outplayed Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite, 79-72, behind Eugene Cabuatan’s torrid shooting.
Cabauatan knocked in 28 points, including six triples to lead the Mariners to an impressive debut win.
Image from Olivarez College Sea Lions Facebook