DILIMAN College booked the first finals berth in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League with a 77-68 win over Technological Institute of the Philippines on Monday at the Olivarez College in Parañaque City.
Olivarez College forced a decider against twice-to-beat Centro Escolar University by scoring an 68-67 win in the other semifinal.
John Mahari took charge this time for the Blue Dragons, scoring 21 points and grabbing grabbing eight rebounds in 33 minutes of action.
The win was the 10th straight for the Rensy Bajar-mentored Diliman College, earnign the Dragons their first finals appearance in the young league.
“We finally made to the finals,” said Bajar. “Hopefully we can go all the way.”
Yani Elie lifted the Sea Lions with big baskets after the Scorpions took a 67-66 lead on a basket by 6-foot-11 Senegalese Maodo Malick Diouf.
Elie finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The knockout match is set on Thursday with Game One of the finals on Monday.
“It was a tough win but good thing we made our shots early and we defended well at the height of their rally,” said Bajar.
Robbi Darang came through with a 14 points and 11 assists while import Kevin Gandjeto also had a double-double with 15 boards and 12 rebounds.