Diliman College forces title decider with Olivarez College in UCBL Summer Invitational

DILIMAN College forced a deciding match for the UCBL Summer Invitational Tournament title, beating Olivarez College, 63-53, on Thursday at the Philippine Buddhacare Academy gym in Quezon City.

Alex Diakhite had 22 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks as the Blue Dragons forced a do-or-die battle for the title on Saturday.

Olivarez had a twice-to-beat advantage in the finals after finishing with a 9-1 record in the eliminations, while Diliman College was second with a 7-3 slate.

The Blue Dragons dominated the first half, outscoring the Sea Lions, 28-13, and holding the Sea Lions to only six points in the second period.

"We are just looking for the mismatches," said Diliman College coach Rensy Bajar. "Ang maganda, kahit may double sa kanya (Diakhite), nakikita niya 'yung mga libre.

"'Yung defense rin namin 'yung nag-dictate sa amin kung mag-rely lang kami sa offense, walang mangyayari especially 'yung Olivarez, very talented and experience team," Bajar added.

Paulo Castro had 13 points for the Sea Lions who never recovered from their lackluster first half.

In the battle-for-third, Centro Escolar University defeated National University in overtime, 75-74.

Paolo Quiminales had 19 points, while Ebuka Umeanozie and Gilles Oloume grabbed 14 rebounds each for the Scorpions.

Matthew Aquino had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulldogs, while JV Gallego added 11 markers.

Rick Gerero of Diliman College was named Most Valuable Player and was joined in the Mythical Five by Kris Torrado of Diliman College, Dwight Saguiguit of Olivarez, Vinny Begaso of Olivarez, and Aquino.

Diakhite was adjudged as the Best Foreign Player of the tournament.

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