Defending champion Centro Escolar University made life miserable for Olivarez College all game long on the way to a dominant 60-43 victory on Thursday in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 at the Olivarez gym in Sucat, Parañaque City.
Congolese import Rod Ebondo flexed enough muscles with 15 points and six rebounds while four other teammates added at least five markers. But it was CEU’s sustained defensive tenacity that threw Olivarez College’s usual fluid offense off-balanced.
“The guys were able to follow our game plan to the T and I’m very proud of them,” beamed Scorpions coach Yong Garcia, whose wards limited the Sea Lions to just four points in the opening period that set the tone for an impressive start to their title-retention bid.
CEU earned a share of the early lead with Bulacan State University, which defeated University of Batangas 89-86 in the opening match.
Back-ups Lawrence Castro and Lordy Geronimo combined for 23 markers, but Olivarez College’s top gunners, led by Dwight Saguitsit, hardly made their presence felt, no thanks to CEU’s suffocating defense.
CEU 60 — Ebondo 15, Guinitaran 10, Uri 6, Galinato 6, Fuentes 5, Umeanozie, 4, Intic 4, Manlangit 4, Caballero 4, Cruz 2, Demigaya 0, Baconcon 0, Arim 0, Wamar Jr. 0.
Olivarez College 43 — Castro 13, Geronimo 10, Saguiguit 5, Solis 4, Sunga 4, Almajeda 3, Begaso 2, Uduba 2, Bermudes 0, Elie 0, Lalata 0, Maganga 0, Navarro 0, Prado 0, Rabe 0.
Quarterscores: 11-4; 24-19; 45-32; 60-43.