LEAGUE-leading Centro Escolar University took control early and never let up, allowing Diliman College only six points in the fourth quarter to post an 81-54 victory on Monday in the Universities and College Basketball League (UCBL) at the Olivarez Sports Center in Paranque City.
It was the Scorpions’ ninth win in as many games, and they need only to beat Technological Institute of the Philippines on Thursday to secure the No. 1 semis berth.
Karlo Casino led the way as the Scorpions hardly missed Congolese center Rodrigue Ebondo, who was benched by coach Yong Garcia for unknown reasons.
The sweet-shooting Casino scored 24, including five triples in an impressive 7-of-13 shooting from field, while Joseph Manlangit added 14 points.
With Ebondo out, the Blue Dragons edged the Scorpions in the rebounding department, 41-40, but they found no answer to Casino’s red-hot shooting.
“That’s really our weaknesses. We always started slow, but I told them to give their bests and they responded in the second half,” said Garcia, referring to their 27-point lead, 77-50, with still 3:13 to play.
Diliman College suffered its sixth loss in eight games.
CEU 81 – Casino 24, Manlangit 14, Wamar 9, Guinitaran 8, Fuentes 6, Arim 5, K. De Leon 5, Aquino 4, Opiso 4, Quiminales 2, Veron 0, Umeanozei 0.
Diliman 54 – Torrado 9, Journacion 9, Mondala 9, Co, 8, Bauzon 8, Brutas 6, Sombrero 3, Villar 2, Tay 0, Cecilio 0, Alfaro 0, Corpuz 0
Quarterscores: 23-13; 43-30; 64-48; 81-54.