Colegio de San Lorenzo (CDSL) cruised past De Ocampo Memorial College (DOMC), 98-82, to capture the inaugural National Capital Region Universities and Colleges in Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) men’s basketball title on Friday at the Makati Coliseum.
Mythical Five member and league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Jun Jun Gabriel finished the deciding Game 3 with a team-high 34 points to lead the Griffins.
But unlike in the first two games, CDSL did not rely to only one man as four other players ended the game in double figures.
Jan Dominic Formento and Rick Argie Baldevia contributed 15 and 13 points, respectively. Another Mythical Five member Charles John Callano chipped in 12 points for the Quezon City-based squad.
The Cobras dictated the early tempo of the game, leading 25-5 off from a Caranguian free throw with 4:35 left in the first quarter. Unfazed with the situation, the Griffins responded with a 19-4 run including a buzzer beater triple from Thristan Edge Laman to trim the lead to 26-29.
Tensions went high during the second frame as the game got physical with unsportsmanlike and technical fouls were called against DOMC’s Peter Marc Manalang and E.J. Canelas, and CDSL’s Baldevia and James Ryan Alvarado.
Manalang and Caranguian, also part of the Mythical Five, combined for 22 of the Cobras’ 27 points in the second period but Gabriel exploded for 13 in that stage to trail by just two, 54-56, going to the break.
Gabriel and Baldevia then took charge for CDSL as they joined forces for a 20-5 run to take a 74-61 spread and the Griffins never relinquished that lead en route to the title.
“We knew from the start that they (DOMC) will apply full court defensive pressure against us”, said Griffins’ head coach Bonnie Garcia about the DOMC’s early surge.
“De Ocampo gave their all during the first half, now it’s our time to give our all this second half and keep the tempo on our side,” he added.
Caranguian led DOMC with 34 points while Manalang added 15 for the Sta. Mesa-based squad. Igi Boy Sabasaje sat out the crucial match due to suspension after committing unsportsmanlike fouls in Game 2. Meanwhile, Mythical Five member JhonardClarito missed the game due to an injury.