OLIVAREZ College, drawing inspired game from MVP Jayboy Solis, outlasted defending champion Diliman College, 64-62, in the opener of their best-of-three title series in the PG Flex Linoleum-UCBL on Thursday at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
The Sea Lions led for most of the way and built a 12-point advantage in the third but needed crucial stops late in the game to hold on.
The Sea Lions can clinch their first title in three finals appearance with the another win on Monday.
Solis led Olivarez with 21 points aside from posting five rebounds, two assists and the same number of steals to cap a day that saw him receive his MVP plum from PG Flex Linoleum owner Nelson Guevarra.
He tallied 314 statistical points to win the highest individual award pulling away.
Solis normed 22.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1 steal and 3.5 blocks in the eliminations in steering the Sea Lions to their third finals appearance.
Joining Solis in the Mythical Team were Diliman College’s Johnnel Bauzon, Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas’ Sandee Diez, Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas’ Aliane Lapasaran and UB’s JJ Caspe.
University of Batangas’ Raoul Yemeli emerged as the best foreign player after averaging 14.4 points, 13 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
Earlier, Centro Escolar University finished third by blasting University of Batangas, 75-55, thanks to a fourth-quarter splurge.
Maodo Diouf led the Scorpions with 18 points and 14 rebounds apart from posting four assists and four blocks.