Top seed Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions will battle the Olivarez College (OC) Sea Lions in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) best-of-three finals today at the OC Coliseum in Parañaque City.
The CEU Scorpions finished the elimination round at the top of the standings with an 11-1 win-loss record, while the Olivarez Sea Lions settled at third spot with an 8-4 card.
During their last meeting in the elimination round last November 28, the Olivarez Sea Lions denied the CEU Scorpions a sweep, 65-63.
“I think our loss against Olivarez gives extra motivation not only for the players but for the coaching staff as well. It motivates the players to be more careful in securing the ball every possession and the coaching staff to be more focused on the ability of each player to take care of the ball the way it should be, and to give their 100% percent right from the start of the game,” said CEU head coach Yong Garcia.
With the Sea Lions having the home court advantage, CEU head coach Yong Garcia shared that it is not a hindrance for them to win.
“We don’t give weight on them having a home court advantage. All we have to do is to be focused and execute our offense and defense well and for the boys to give their best,” Garcia added. “We’ll play harder, more intense, and stronger than our previous games.”
Olivarez dispatched second seed Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) Engineers in a rubber match on Saturday, 42-38.
The Sea Lions banked on their perimeter shooting, tallying 30 points against TIP’s 26 points. They also took advantage of the Engineers’ 11 turnovers to score 10 markers.
Dominating under the basket, Olivarez recorded 36 rebounds against TIP’s 27 boards and managed to limit the Engineers to only 15 baskets out of 50 attempts.
Erasing TIP’s twice-to-beat advantage, the Olivarez Sea Lions executed a full court defense to stun the Engineers, 70-53, while the CEU Scorpions clinched the first finals ticket after trouncing the Colegio de San Lorenzo (CDSL) Griffins on Thursday, 99-57.