DILIMAN College survived University of Batangas' late surge to post a 72-65 win in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League on Sunday at the Olivarez College gym.
Romyl Jornacion and Joseph Brutas led the Nikki Coseteng-owned school to an auspicious start with 20 and 14 points, respectively.
Diliman’s win was not without trouble as UB cut a 16-point deficit, 59-43, down to six, 69-63.
But Mikko Tay came to Diliman’s rescue, coming through with back-to-back baskets to finally douse cold water on the UB Brahmans.
Diliman College coach Rensy Bajar, a former teammate of Danny Ildefonso in the Philippine team, was elated the way his young players responded to his challenge.
“This is practically a young team. Their ages are in the range of 17 to 18-year-olds. But we were able to win this game because of hard work and determination of my players,” said Bajar.
The presence of Coseteng – a former senator – gave the Blue Dragons more fire as they controlled the game right from the start, taking a 38-32 lead at halftime.
Aside from leading Diliman in scoring, the 6-foot Jornacion posted eight assists, five rebounds and a steal while Brutas added three rebounds.
Casper Pericas, who led UB’s rally in the fourth, wound up with 17 points.
On the other hand, multi-titled Centro Escolar University was playing against Colegio De San Lorenzo at presstime.
The CEU Scorpions are heavily favored to rule the inaugural staging of the event after dominating NAASCU.
Diliman 72 - Jornacion 20, Brutas 14, Bauzon 12, Tay 7, Sombero 6, Torrado 6, Cecilio 3, Handag 3, Salazar 1, Mondala 0, Angeles 0
U Batangas 65 - Pericas 17, Gabriel 15, Arboleda 13, Gotam 6, Hiedelburg 4, Calacalsada 4, Yemeli 4, Contorno 2, Ocampo 0, Badulis 0, Espiritu 0
Quarters: 20-17, 38-32, 59-50, 72-65
(Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – CDSL vs Olivarez
2 p.m. – BSU vs TIP