The Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions battered the Olivarez College (OC) Sea Lions, 66-41, in Game 1 of the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) best-of-three finals on Monday at the Olivarez Coliseum in Parañaque City.
Vin Belaso hit a jumper for Olivarez in the 6:08 minute mark of the opening quarter, 6-5.
CEU’s Karlo Casiño drew the penalty foul on Mavrick Saguiguit midway through the quarter. Saguiguit then split his free throws, 8-6. Oliver Arim picked up Casiño’s miss with a minute left in the quarter, 13-9.
Lorenz Guinitaran and Jason Opiso notched back-to-back three-pointers for the Scorpions to stretch their lead to eight with 2:52 minutes remaining in the first half, 25-17. Jose Navarro scored a basket inside the paint off Jayboy Solis’ assist in the 1:18 minute mark, 27-22.
The Scorpions unleashed a 12-0 run through the efforts of Joseph Manlangit, Orlan Wamar, and Patrick Aquino with 4:16 minutes left in the third canto, 40-27. Solis broke the dry spell for Olivarez after hitting a jumper, 40-29.
Wamar and Opiso sank their respective treys with 6:14 minutes left in the match, 58-36. Olivarez’s Navarro answered back with another three-pointer, 58-39.
“In the first half, the matchups were quite tight and we had a slow start. And I’m so happy in the second half, the players stuck to our game plan and we executed what we prepared against Olivarez. That’s why we had that outcome,” said CEU head coach Yong Garcia.
Rodrigue Ebondo top scored for CEU with a double-double outing of 14 points and 17 rebounds. Wamar and Opiso added 11 markers apiece. Solis owned the lone bright spot for Olivarez with 15 points.
“It’s all about the effort of my players. They’re very aggressive to play defense on them and they managed to stop the outside shooting of Olivarez,” Garcia added.
The CEU Scorpions aim to bag the championship at 2 p.m. on Thursday at the same venue.