TIP, Bulacan State U square off in crucial battle as UCBL semis race heats up

TECHNOLOGICAL Institute of the Philippines seeks to move closer in nailing the second Final Four berth against Bulacan State University on Saturday in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

The Engineers overwhelmed the Gold Gear, 103-83, in their first meeting last Oct. 13 and look to repeat in their 12 p.m. match.

Olivarez College and Colegio de San Lorenzo clash in the day's other game, which has also a lot of implications in the semifinals race, at 2 p.m.

Centro Escolar University, the consensus title favorites in the seven-team tournament organized by UCAL and presented by Lamoiyan Corp. and Euro-Med, has already secured a place in the Final Four with a perfect 8-0 record.  

TIP is running second with a 5-2 card, and a win will not only boost its chances for a semis berth but also for the twice-to-beat incentive. The Engineers are holding a one-game lead over the third-running Sea Lions (4-3).

John Enriquez and Jorey Napoles, who are averaging a combined 25.6 points this season, will be the vital cogs for TIP.

BulSU is in dire need of a win to keep its semifinals hopes alive. At 3-4, the Gold Gear are half-a-game behind the Griffins (4-4) in the chase for the last Final Four berth.

Olivarez, for its part, hopes to score a repeat of its impressive 95-77 win over CDSL in the first round.

The Sea Lions will rely on the trio of Provil Bermudez, Vin Belaso and Mavrick Saguitguit.

Standings       W    L

CEU             8    0

TIP             5    2

Olivarez        4    3

CDSL            4    4

BulSU            3    4

Diliman         2    5

UB              0    8

Games on Saturday:

(Olivarez Sports Center)

12 p.m. – BulSU vs TIP

2 p.m. – Olivarez vs CDSL

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