CENTRO Escolar University hardly broke a sweat in solving the University of the Philippines puzzle as it rolled to an 89-74 victory on Friday to remain unbeaten in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
In the face of a zone defense, the Scorpions countered with their reliable long-range shooting that frustrated the young Maroons all-game long en route to the one-sided result.
“We just reacted to what the defense gave us,” said Scorpions coach Egay Macaraya, whose team buried 10 three-pointers out of 34 attempts.
As a result, the Scorpions registered the second straight victory in Group B as the two-time defending Naascu champions also sent the Maroons back to earth following the rebuilding UAAP team’s 67-63 win against Mapua last time.
Samboy de Leon, the PBA D-League-honed standout, spearheaded the Scorpions’ stinging attack with 16 points and three rebounds in just 16 minutes. Jason Opiso added 14 points and five boards, while Congolese big man Rodrigue Ebondo made his presence felt in the paint with 11 points, 10 caroms, and one block.
Diego Dario and Kyles Lao led the Maroons’ guard-oriented offense, but found little support from their own foreign reinforcement in Cheik Kone, who produced just five points and five boards in 12 minutes.
CEU 89 – De Leon 16, Opiso 14, Ebondo 11, Abundo 9, Silverie 8, Batino 7, Pagkatipunan 6, Jeruta 5, Casino 4, Celso 4, Vargas 3, Arim 2, Aranas 0
UP 74 – Dario 15, Lao 12, Desiderio 9, Manuel 9, Moralde 8, Vito 6, Kone 5, Longa 3, Juruena 2, Gallarza 2, Amar 2, Jaboneta 1, Prado 0, Lim 0, Asilum 0, Tekoudjou 0
Quarterscores: 25-10; 45-31; 74-56; 89-74.