Games Thursday (Olivarez gym, Parañaque City): 12 noon – CEU vs LPU-B; 2 p.m. – NCBA vs UB; 4 p.m. – Olivarez vs PCU-D
CENTRO Escolar University survived a spirited challenge from Technological Institute of the Philippines, 63-61, and advanced to the semis of the PG Flex Linoleum-Universities and Colleges Basketball League at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
The Scorpions teetered on the brink of defeat after the Engineers grabbed a 60-59 lead with just 93 ticks left.
But clutch free throws by Erick Tuadles and Dave Bernabe helped the Scorpions retake the lead on the way to their sixth win in nine games in the 8-team tournament.
CEU’s win also towed Olivarez College to the next phase with its second-best 6-2 record.
Defending champion Diliman College secured the first semis as early as last week with a flawless 8-0 record.
Maodo Diouf led the Scorpions 18 points aside from grabbing 21 rebounds while Tuadles chipped in 13 points.
TIP kissed its semis bid goodbye as it dropped to 2-7.
Meantime, Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas kept alive its semis hopes by blasting National College of Business and Arts, 127-77, in the first game.
The Dophins, however, need to hurdle last their two games – against Olivarez College on Thursday and University of Batangas next week - to forge a playoff for the last semis berth.
Seven players scored in double figures with Sandee Diez leading the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Dolphins improved their record to 3-5.
Lucien Mulamba fired 17 points apart from hauling down nine rebounds, and Laurents Paluoja and Carl Jasper Morillo added 14 points apiece for PCU.
The Dolphins were so dominant they took an imposing 65-27 lead at the half.