Bulacan State University weathered Diliman College’s furious comeback and eked out a pulsating 79-73 win in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) on Saturday at the Olivarez College Sports Center in Paranaque City.
Christian Necio, Leonard de Leon and Vincent de la Cruz scored the Golden Gears’ last six points to finally take the fight out of the Blue Dragons, who played minus coach Renzy Bajar.
With the win, BSU tied Colegio de San Lorenzo Griffins and Olivarez College Sea Lions for third to fifth places with similar 3-3 cards.
The Centro Escholar University Scorpions are the only unbeaten team in the tournament with a 6-0 card with the Technological Institute of the Philippines Engineers running second with a 4-2 record.
The CEU Scorpions and CDSL Griffins were still playing at presstime.
The Gold Gears dominated the first two quarters, but the Blue Dragons came back strong in the third, setting the tone for an exciting finish.
Protecting a slim 75-73 lead, BSU went to De Leon and Dela Cruz and two responded well by hitting two clutch baskets to end Diliman’s comeback bid.
“We were having trouble in the final half. It was all because we were adjusting in this game since both teams have the same style of running game. It’s good that in the end, we hang tough,” said BSU coach Antonio Tayao.
Dominick Fajardo paced the Gold Gears with 18 points, Mendoza settled with 14 and 11 from Christin Necio.
Romyl Journacio scored a game-high 22 points for DC, which slipped to 2-4.
BulSU 79 – Fajardo 18, Mendoza A.14, Necio 11, Jauco 10, Reyes 10, De la Cruz 8, De Leon 8, Mendoza J. 0, Bagay 0.
Diliman 73 – Journacion 22, Brutas 16, Sombero 11, Torrado 8, Mondala 6, Co 6, Tay 2, Salazar 2, Cecilio 0, Bauzon 0.
Quarters: 15-10; 38-29; 59-51; 79-73.