Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions trounced the Olivarez College (OC) Sea Lions, 59-38, in Game 2 to clinch the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) crown on Thursday at the Olivarez Coliseum in Parañaque City on Thursday.
The Olivarez Sea Lions held a one-point cushion over the CEU Scorpions after ten minutes of action, 14-13.
CEU unleashed a 4-0 run with Orlan Wamar driving to the basket off a steal and Patrick Aquino sinking both his free throws after Pruvil Bermudez drew the foul with 5:49 minutes left in the first half, 19-17.
Sea Lions Jayboy Solis and Lawrence Uduba drained a three-pointer and a long jumper, respectively, to tie the ball game at 22-all in the 2:56 minute mark. The Scorpions broke away from the deadlock as Rodrigue Ebondo scored a basket inside the paint and Joseph Manlangit hit a mid-range jumper, 26-22.
In the third quarter, CEU tallied 16 points while limiting Olivarez to a basket. Olivarez’s Joshua Almejada banked his mid-range jumper in the dying seconds of the period, 44-24.
The Scorpions extended their advantage to 25, the biggest lead of the match, after Ric Fuentes drove to the basket with 5:41 minutes left in the match, 51-26. Olivarez’s Richard Singh then retaliated and drained a trey, 51-29.
From the corner, Sea Lion Jose Manalo sank a three-pointer with 25.5 seconds left in the match, 58-38.
“My first group played a nice defense in the third quarter and that’s why we have this outcome,” said CEU head coach Yong Garcia. “I’m so happy and I’m very thankful to my veteran players like Rodrigue (Ebondo) and JK (Cariño) because they had a big responsibility for this UCBL and I’m also very thankful because they guided our rookies. We’re so blessed because this is my first head coaching job and we got the championship.”
Aquino top scored for CEU with 14 points, while Ebondo had a double-double outing of 13 markers and 11 boards. Named as the final’s Most Valuable Player, Warlan added 10 more points. Solis owned the lone bright spot for Olivarez with 12 markers.
Completing the Mythical Five were CEU’s Cariño, Olivarez’s Singh, Bulacan State University’s (BulSU) Dominick Fajardo, Technological Institute of the Philippines’s (TIP) Harley Diego, and Colegio de San Lorenzo’s (CDSL) Jonjon Gabriel. Fajardo received the season’s MVP honors.