DILIMAN College showed it is not just about Senegalese import Adama Diakhite as the local trio of Joseph Brutas, Earl Salazar and Aldrin Ligon stepped up and lifted the Blue Dragons past the Olivarez College Sea Lions, 65-58, on Thursday in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League Season 2 at the Olivarez Sports Center in Paranaque City.
While Diakhite produced game-highs of 17 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks, it was Brutas, Salazar and Ligon who made key plays in the final period that enabled the Blue Dragons to take control of the game.
Brutas scored six of his 16 points in the fourth, all off catch-and-shoot jumpers, while Salazar and Ligon combined for nine points aside from several hustle plays as Diliman College racked up its second straight win and fourth overall in five starts for solo third place.
In the other game, Technological Institute of the Philippines poured on the heat in the third quarter and hacked out an 83-68 victory over Lyceum-Batangas.
Veteran Jorey Napoles scored 16 points and was just a rebound shot of a double-double, while Tevita Latu and Joseph Daguro combined for 32 points, 14 coming in their third-quarter onslaught where the Engineers outscored the Pirates 28-9.
The victory ended TIP’s two-game losing streak and improved its mark to 2-3 in a tie with Olivarez College.
With the 6-foot-9 Diakhite pulled out early in the fourth due to cramps, Olivarez College immediately took advantage, with Chris Lalata scoring four quick points including a two-handed dunk plus a foul off Robbi Darang that put them on top at 49-48.
Diliman College, however, kept its poise as Brutas and Salazar teamed up in scoring seven of the next nine points for a 55-51 advantage with less than four minutes to play.
A floater by Sunga kept the Sea Lions within striking distance, but teammate Yanie Elie incurred a costly flagrant foul after swinging a closed fist against Ligon during a loose ball scramble.
Ligon split his free throws before Brutas sank another mid-range jumper and the former came up with a clutch three-point play off Diakhite’s fourth assist that practically sealed the deal for the Blue Dragons, time down to just 45 seconds.
Diliman College 65 — Diakhite 17, Brutas 16, Gerero 10, Salazar 7, Ligon 5, Sombero 4, Darang 2, Mbiya 2, Mondala 2, Bauzon 0, Corpuz 0.
Olivarez College 58 — Castro 10, Sunga 8, Solis 7, Bermudes 5, Saguiguit 5, Almajeda 4, Elie 4, Geronimo 4, Lalata 4, Begaso 2, Rabe 2, Uduba 2, Navarro 1.
Quarterscores: 11-14; 30-29; 48-45; 65-58.
TIP 83 — Napoles 16, Daguro 16, Latu 16, Palisoc 11, Lara 6, Soriano 6, Ramos 4, Mallari 3, Tan 3, Quiambao 2, Manalang 0.
Lyceum-Batangas 68 — Lapasaran 17, Buen 11, Axalan 10, Villaluna 10, Vilanueva 7, Fernandez 6, Saliente 5, Solitario 2, Eranes 0, Olarte 0.
Quarterscores: 19-15; 34-34; 62-43; 83-68.