DEFENDING champion Centro Escolar University got back at Diliman College, 75-63, and secured a twice-to-beat incentive in the semifinals of the Universities and Colleges Basketball League Season 2 at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
Orlan Wamar scored 18 points, spiked by three triples, while three other CEU locals scored in double figures as the Scorpions avenged a 59-56 loss to the Blue Dragons last Oct. 7.
CEU notched its fourth straight win and 10th overall against a lone loss, claiming a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinal round.
Diliman College suffered its fourth consecutive setback but still remained at fourth spot with a 7-5 record.
“It’s all about the desire of the players. They really wanted to win and they didn’t let this chance to get back at them slipped away,” said Scorpions coach Yong Garcia, pleased no end with how his wards pulled away in the second frame and did enough to keep the Blue Dragons at bay in the crunch.
Senegalese big man Adama Diakhite took advantage of the absence of CEU counterpart Rod Ebondo, tallying game-highs of 21 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks, but failed to get enough support from his local Diliman College teammates.
Robbi Darang had 10 points and five assists but Rickson Gerero and Joseph Brutas groped for form against the Scorpions’ suffocating defense, coming up with just 18 points on a combined 7-of-21 shooting clip.
Up by just four at the end of the opening frame, CEU suddenly went on a tear behind Joseph Manlangit and Rich Guinitaran who teamed up for 16 points that enabled them to build a 14-point buffer at the break.
The Scorpions held a 21-point lead in the third.
Colegio de San Lorenzo outlasted Lyceum-Batangas, 92-87, to boost its bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the semis.
Benin native Soulemane Chabi Yo did most of the damage with 34 points, 23 rebounds and three blocks, before locals Jan Formento and James Alvarado sealed the deal with four freebies inside the final 10 seconds to help the Griffins stave off the Pirates’ upset bid.
It was the fourth straight victory and ninth overall in 10 outings for CdSL, which also gave Lyceum-Batangas the big boot with its eighth loss overall against three wins.
CEU 75 — Wamar 18, Uri 13, Manlangit 12, Guinitaran 11, Umeanozie 8, Caballero 4, Intic 3, Arim 2, Baconcon 2, Cruz 2, Demigaya 0, Fuentes 0, Galinato 0.
Diliman 63 — Diakhite 21, Darang 10, Brutas 9, Gerero 9, Mondala 5, Corpuz 4, Bauzon 3, Ligon 2, Chavenia 0, Handag 0, Mbiya 0, Salazar 0, Sombero 0.
Quarterscores: 19-15; 42-28; 62-43; 75-63.
CdSL 92 — Chabi Yo 34, Formento 20, Alvarado 16, Sablan 9, Laman 6, Borja 4, Ancheta 2, Rojas 1, Callano 0, Vargas 0.
Lyceum-Batangas 87 — Buen 19, Saliente 18, Fernandez 14, Lapasaran 13, Eranes 10, Villaluna 9, Axalan 2, Villanueva 2, Solitario 0.
Quarterscores: 23-15; 45-40; 71-66; 92-87.