CENTRO Escolar University defeated Olivarez College, 76-61, on Saturday to complete a six-game sweep of the first round of eliminations in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.
For the first time in six games, CEU experienced trailing an opponent at the end of the first half as the Sea Lions outscored the Scorpions in the second quarter, 25-8.
But with 6-foot-6 Rod Ebondo dominating shaded lane, and the rest scoring from afar from time to time, the Scorpions erased a 35-31 deficit and took a 53-49 advantage.
It was an all-CEU show from there as Karlo Casino, Samboy de Leon and Ric Fuentes joined the scoring spree.
CEU coach Yong Garcia said the Scorpions could have done much better.
“We were flat again in the second quarter. My players have this tendency to relax for a while. I asked them to give their bests in the second half. That was my challenge to them and good thing, they responded,” said Garcia.
Ebondo scored 17 of his 25 points in the last two quarters and grabbed 15 boards.
“I hope we can continue playing well in the second round. I would not say another sweep, I will just think about it one game at a time,” added Garcia.
The Sea Lions slipped to 3-2 in a tie with idle Technological Institute of the Philippines.
Casino scored 11 while De Leon added 9 points.
Albert Rabe sparked Olivarez’s big second quarter show that saw them score 19 straight points that left CEU coach shaking his head in disgust.
Vin Belaso paced the Sea Lions with 14 points, Harold Sala scored 13 and Mavrick Saguiguit had nine.
CEU 76 – Ebondo 25, Casino 11, De Leon S. 9, Fuentes 9, Manlangit 8, Wamar 6, Opiso 4, De Leon K. 2, Aquino 1, Arim 1, Veron 0.
Olivarez 61 – Belaso 14, Sala 13, Saguiguit 9, Rabe 7, Singh 6, Geronimo 5, Sunga 4, Uduba 2, Bermudez 1, Solis 0, Almejada 0.
Quarterscores: 23-10; 31-35; 53-49; 76-61.