De Ocampo Memorial College (DOMC) edged Colegio de San Lorenzo, 92-87, to take Game 1 of the best-of-three finals of the 2017 National Capital Regional Universities Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) on Monday at the Makati Coliseum.
Cagayan Valley native Dahrrel Caranguian came off the bench and netted 30 points for the Cobras, who move to a win away of bagging the inaugural NCRUCLAA crown.
Jhonard Clarito chipped in 21 markers while Redel Fabro and Igi Boy Sabasaje had 13 and 10 points for DOMC, respectively.
Down by 10 points midway in the third period, 49-59, Caranguian sparked the Cobras’ rally and cut the deficit to just two, 57-59 before the Griffins settled for a 69-65 lead entering the final period.
The Cobras, behind Sabasaje, Caranguian, and Fabro, took the lead at 74-73, and managed to stay in front at 88-83 with two minutes remaining.
CDSL’s Rick Baldevia and Jon-Jon Gabriel tried to rally their team back and threatened at 87-90 but Caranguian sealed the match with two charities.
“We had a miscommunication during the third quarter and we were not in control of our offense. I told them to hold off their emotions and strengthen our defense,” said DOMC coach Ronnie Dojillo.
“Both teams played well today. I think, we just had a better stamina during the end game,” he added.
Gabriel, meanwhile, led the Griffins with 23 points, 13 came in the third quarter, while Charles John Callano added 14.
“Their (DOMC) efforts were high that we could not afford to match out and we got out of control which caused our loss. The team was celebrating early when we take the lead and that’s maybe one of the reasons why we lost,” said CDSL coach Bonnie Garcia.
CDSL will try to tie the series in Game 2 on Wednesday at 10 a.m. also at the same venue.