Olivarez, Diliman College, Benilde open campaigns on high note in UCBL Invitationals
TY Tang's CSB Blazers beat JRU in a close game. Dante Peralta

OLIVAREZ College and Diliman College kicked off their title bids on winning notes even as College of St. Benilde outlasted fellow NCAA regular Jose Rizal University at the start of the UCBL Summer Invitational at the Buddhacare gym in Quezon City.

Working behind their vaunted running game, the Olivarez Sea Lions rallied in the second half to edge the Centro Escolar University, 48-46, while the Diliman cagers stunned the National University Bulldogs, 69-57.

The CSB Blazers, on the other hand, leaned on a well-balanced attack to beat the JRU Bombers, 76-72, in the tournament backed by Ever Bilena-Blackwater, Smart, Advanced Solution, Inc. and Manila Bulletin

UCBL president Franklin Evidente led an array of league and school officials who graced the event serving a preseason tournament for UCBL, UAAP and NCAA teams.

Nobody scored in double figures for the Sea Lions but at least six players scored six points or more with John Uduba and Archie Sunga finishing with eight points each.

Mentored by TY Tang, the Blazers produced a decisive run in the second quarter behind the guns of Lorenzo Mercado, Jimboy Pasturan and Kenmark Miranda to pull away for good.

Alex Diakhite produced a double-double for Diliman College with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Rick Gerer and Jem Sombero combined for 25 points.

The top two teams after the double elims square off in the finals with the No. 1 enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage.

Games Tuesday

(Buddhacare gym, Q.C.)

9 a.m. – CEU vs CSB

11:45 a.m. – JRU vs Diliman

1:30 p.m. – NU vs Olivarez

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