Games Thursday (Olivarez Gym, Paranaque City): 12 noon – Diliman vs CEU; 2 p.m. – LPU vs TIP; 4 p.m. – UB vs Olivarez
REIGNING titlist Diliman College shoots for the first semifinal berth when it battles Centro Escolar University in the second phase of the elims in the PG Flex Linoleum-Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
Match is at 12 noon with the top-seeded Blue Dragons looking to repeat over the third-seeded Scorpions in the Group A showdown and extend their unbeaten run to eight games which is the magic number of wins a team needs to advance to the Final Four.
No. 2 seed University of Batangas battle fourth-seeded Olivarez College in Group B at 4 p.m. after the 2 p.m. showdown between No. 5 Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas and No. 7 Technological Institute of the Philippines.
Apart from Diliman and CEU, also in Group A are Lyceum and TIP while comprising Group are UB, Olivarez, Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas and National College of Business and Arts.
Each group plays another round with all teams carrying over their win-loss records and the top two teams earning twice-to-beat advantages in the semis.
Out to become the first back-to-back champions in the league, the Blue Dragons of coach Rensy Bajar topped the first round by winning all their seven games, including a 90-62 drubbing of the Scorpions.
The Blue Dragons, however, will have their hands full against the Scorpions who are now back in full force after playing with only six men during a three-game stretch due to previous commitments.
In that stretch, the Scorpions also bowed to the UB Brahmans.
UB, CEU and Olivarez finished the elims with similar 5-2 records but the Brahmans emerged No. 2 due to their superior quotient.