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    Olivarez College overcomes PCU to advance in UCBL stepladder semis

    Jan 19, 2023
    John Umali Olivarez college
    PHOTO: ucbl

    JOHN Umali nailed big shots down the stretch as Olivarez College survived Philippine Christian University, 78-71, in their do-or-die stepladder semifinal match in the 5th PG Flex Linoleum-Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) on Thursday at the Paco Arena in Manila.

    Umali spearheaded the back-breaking 10-0 run inside the final five minutes as the Sea Lions shook off a hard-fighting Dolphins side to set up a collision with second-seed and twice-to-beat Diliman College Blue Dragons in the second part of the stepladder semis.

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    The Sea Lions forward finished with 17 points, built on four triples – none bigger than the last two which he drilled in the waning minutes to give Olivarez the much-needed breathing room.

    With Olivarez up by only two, 68-66, Umali drained a left wing triple that stretched the lead to five with 3:41 left in the clock before knocking down another one from the other side a few minutes later to quash's the Dolphins' comeback from a 13-point deficit.


      Free throws from Umali and Vincent Rocero then capped the run to pad the lead to 78-66, which proved enough to cushion a late fightback from PCU.

      Edmund Dela Cruz was also all over the floor for Olivarez scattering 17 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists while John Laurence Uduba added a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.

      Tita Toscannie and Joshua Dino paced PCU with 14 points apiece.

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      PHOTO: ucbl
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