Jon Jon Gabriel came to the rescuefor Colegio de San Lorenzo, leading the team to an 89-78 win over De Ocampo Memorial College in Game 2 of their best-of-three finals of the National Capital Region Universities Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Makati Coliseum.
Gabriel exploded for 28 points for the Griffins, who forced a winner-take-all Game 3 on Friday at the same venue.
Jan Dominic Formento netted 24 points while King Astero and Rick Baldevia had nine points each for the CDSL.
“We wanted to win that is why we really poured all our efforts. We played like there’s no tomorrow,” said Griffins coach Bonnie Garcia.
CDSL erected a 21-point halftime lead, 49-28, but lost focus in the third period as the Cobras sliced the lead to 59-68, entering the final quarter.
Jhonard Clarito dropped five straight points to cut De Ocampo’s deficit to six, 64-70, with seven minutes left in the fourth.
The Griffins’s offense started to click again and took an 84-72 lead. They were never threatened since then.
“Their (DOMC) intensity is so high in the third period and it so happened that we lost our focus. That’s why I have to put my key players in the last five minutes of the game,” added Garcia.
Dahrrel Caranguian finished with 21 markers, way below in his 30-point eruption in Game 1, while Clarito and Redel Fabro had 15 and 10 markers, respectively for the Cobras.