AFTER forcing a semis decider, Olivarez College vowed to go all out when it faces Technological Institute of the Philippines in a do-or-die duel for the second finals berth in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL)at the Olivarez Sports Center on Saturday.
Banking on a strong second quarter surge, the Olivarez Sea Lions wiped out a five-point first quarter deficit and coasted to a 70-53 win over the Engineers – who came into game armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Centro Escolar University and TIP claimed twice-to-beat advantages in the semis after finishing 1-2 after the double-round elims with an 11-1 and 8-4 record, respectively.
The winner in the Olivarez-TIP showdown will face the CEU Scorpions in a best-of-three series starting on Monday. Behind a well-balanced attack, the Scorpions claimed the first finals slot with a masterful 99-57 win over the Colegio de San Lorenzo Griffins.
The Sea Lions were pumped coming into the semis with a 65-63 win over the Scorpions in the last playing day of the elims, and it showed against the Engineers as they refused to panic despite another tentative start.
Led by Albert Rabe, Lawrence Udoba and Pruvil Bermudez, the Sea Lions unleashed a mighty 25-9 run in the second frame to take a 35-24 halftime lead and never looked back against the Engineers, who shot poorly for the second straight game. They also lost their final elimination assignment to the Diliman College Blue Dragons.
The win over TIP was the first for Olivarez in three meetings, and coach Michael Saguiguit is hoping it will not be their last.
Albert Rabe led the way for the Sea Lions with 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals while Lawrence Udoba and Pruvil Bermudez chipped in 12 and 11 markers, respectively.
Game on Saturday
(Olivarez Sports Center)
12 p.m. – Olivarez vs TIP