BJ Faundo’s outside shooting in the final period spelled the difference for the Olivarez College Sea Lions on Wednesday in Game One of the 11th Universities and Colleges Athletic Association (UCAA) men’s basketball championship.
His timely baskets in the last 10 minutes enabled the Sea Lions to beat the La Salle-Dasmarinas Patriots, 67-62, in their home floor, the Olivarez College gymnasium in Sucat, Paranaque, for a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three title duel.
Faundo finished with only nine points, but had seven in the last canto of this cagefest supported by Mikasa and Molten Balls. His short jumper and triple fueled a telling scoring binge in the final 8:35 as the Sea Lions turned a 47-51 third-quarter deficit into a 55-51 lead.
The Sea Lion stretched it to 57-51 on a John Flores drive with 5:55 to go and never look back.
“Our defense paid off in the fourth quarter. That’s what won the game for us,” said Sea Lions coach Michael Saguiguit, who added that the team drew inspiration from the presence and encouragement of top school official Dr. Pablo Olivarez during the game.
Franklin Mancio banged in 18 points for the Sea Lions, who lost the crown last season to the Philippine School of Business Administration Jaguars.
The Patriots, led by Jet Manuel with 15 points, try to square the title series on Friday, 1 p.m. in their home court at the Ugnayang La Salle gymnasium in Dasmarinas, Cavite.