Ebondo-less CEU Scorpions still too strong for Lyceum-Batangas

CENTRO Escolar University proved too strong for Lyceum-Batangas even without Congolese center Rod Ebondo as the Scorpions scored an 85-56 victory over the Pirates to close in on a semifinal berth in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League Season 2 at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.

Judel Fuentes had 18 points, spiked by four triples, while Paul Galinato and Christian Uri combined up for 27 points as CEU nailed its second consecutive win and eighth overall in nine matches for the solo lead.

Nigerian big man Ebuka Umeanozie, the main backup of the 6-foot-7 Ebondo, scored 10 points. Ebondo is now out for the tournament after being called up by the Congo national squad for the 2017 Fiba Africa qualifiers for the Fiba Basketball World Cup.

“It’s a tough blow to play without Rod but I’m confident that the guys can rise to the challenge,” said CEU coach Yong Garcia.

August Lapasaran had a game-high 19 points for Lyceum-Batangas, which dropped to 2-7.

Host Olivarez College got back at Diliman College, 64-57.

Paulo Castro scored 20 points off the bench while Jayboy Solis capped his five-point, seven-rebound, seven-block performance with the go-ahead triple to help the Sea Lions complete the come-from-behind win over the fading Blue Dragons.

It was the fifth consecutive triumph and seventh in 10 matches for Olivarez College, tying the Blue Dragons for third spot.

“We finally played with pride against them that I’ve been longing to see from my players,” said Sea Lions coach Mike Saguiguit, pleased with his wards’ renewed performance that enabled them to avenge a 65-58 loss to the Blue Dragons last Sept. 28.

First Game

Olivarez College 64 — Castro 20, Begaso 10, Saguiguit 6, Rabe 5, Solis 5, Almajeda 4, Geronimo 4, Navarro 4, Bermudes 2, Lalata 2, Sunga 2, Elie 0, Uduba 0.

Diliman College 57 — Gerero 23, Diakhite 13, Ligon 6, Mondala 6, Brutas 3, Darang 3, Salazar 2, Chavenia 1, Bauzon 0, Mbiya 0, Sombero 0.

Quarterscores: 15-18; 27-32; 45-51; 64-57.

Second Game

CEU 85 — Fuentes 18, Galinato 14, Uri 13, Umeanozie 10, Wamar 8, Guinitaran 7, Intic 6, Manlangit 5, Arim 4, Baconcon 0, Caballero 0, Cruz 0, Demigaya 0.

Lyceum-Batangas 56 — Lapasaran 19, Villaluna 9, Fernandez 7, Saliente 7, Axalan 6, Buen 5, Villanueva 2, Solitario 1, Eranes 0, Olarte 0.

Quarterscores: 22-16; 49-31; 72-42; 85-56.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph