Diliman College overpowered Olivarez College via a 76-65 decision to rule the 2017 Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Summer Invitational Tournament held at the Philippine Buddhacare Academy gym in Quezon City.
Nigerian import Alex Diakhite posted an impressive double-double 30 points and 20 rebounds to power the Blue Dragons to the title.
“Alex is really the best import I’ve seen in a long long time and Diliman College is truly fortunate to have him. He’s an excellent athlete in all aspects. Skills wise and character wise,” said Diliman College owner Sen. Nikki Coseteng.
“Diliman College always finds itself playing against powerful, more prepared and well-funded teams. We tell out players to just go their best every game. And remember everything their coaches tell them. The must focus on their teamwork,” she added.
Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kris Torrado chipped in 13 points and seven assists while Joseph Brutas added 14 markers highlighted by four triples.
Coseteng hailed the coaching staff led by head coach Rensy Bajar, who also serves as Diliman College athletic director.
“Coach Rensy has created our Tower of Power. As a coach, he leads by example and if all athletes follow his example, they would all be successful athletes. Coaches should motivate, encourage, inspire. He teaches them teamwork and ensures they play as a well oiled machine. That’s what coach Rensy does. Many other bully their athletes,” stressed Coseteng.
It was Diliman College’s second straight win against twice-to-beat holder Olivarez College.
The Blue Dragons posted a thrilling 63-53 win against the Sea Lions in their first meeting in the finals with the 6-foot-8 Diakhite scoring another double-double 20 points and 16 boards.
Diliman College’s Rick Gerero was named as the tournament’s MVP while Diakhite got the Best Foreign Player award.
Gerero also led the list of Mythical Five along with Torrado, Olivarez players Dwight Saguiguit and Vinny Begaso, and Matthew Aquino of National University.
“I am very fortunate to have a great team and coaches and we are vry proud of them. They donot complain. They can make sacrifices because they know we help them make a name for themselves and they know that they can count on us to work hard, to give them skills to become greater players one day,” ended Coseteng.