Games on Monday
(Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – Olivarez vs U of Batangas
2 p.m. – Diliman vs Lyceum-Batangas
DEFENDING champion Centro Escolar University booked a return trip to the semis with an 82-72 win over struggling Technological Institute of the Philippines in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 at the Olivarez College gym in Sucat, Parañaque City.
The CEU Scorpions notched their third straight and 9th overall in 10 games to clinch the first semis berth while pushing the TIP Engineers closer to the brink of elimination with a 3-7 win-loss record.
Meanwhile, pro-bound Jon Gabriel put on another stellar performance as Colegio de San Lorenzo downed University of Batangas, 78-71, and secured the second semifinals spot.
The 6-foot-5 Gabriel came off the bench to produce 17 points, including a pair of triples, aside from posting six rebounds and three assists as the Griffins improved to 8-1.
Without their prized big man, the Scorpions went to Orlan Wamar and the wily guard did not disappoint as he waxed hot from beyond the arc to finish with a game-high 25 points,
He highlighted his game-long brilliance with six triples, most of them in the final canto that saw pull away for good.
CEU played minus the 6-foot-7 center Rod Ebondo, who has been ruled out of the tourney due to his national team commitments with his home country Democratic Republic of Congo in the African qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
“It’s not easy to make the adjustments in the absence of Rod. That’s why I’m just thankful that my players are doing their fair share and giving their best for us to continue our winning ways,” said CEU coach Yong Garcia.
Garcia had Wamar to chiefly thank for as the sweet-shooting guard took charge after TIP forward Alex Ramos put the Engineers on top at 61-60 with more than seven minutes to play.
Wamar drained three straight triples while Judel Fuentes clustered eight points in their blinding 19-6 counterattack, giving the Scorpions full control with less than three minutes remaining.
Rich Guinitaran added 14 points and six rebounds while Nigerian big man Ebuka Umeanozie hauled down a team-high 10 rebounds, nine of them coming on the offensive end, to help fill the void left by Ebondo.
CEU 82 — Wamar 25, Fuentes 19, Guinitaran 14, Uri 9, Cruz 4, Manlangit 4, Umeanozie 3, Baconcon 2, Demigaya 2, Arim 0, Caballero 0, Galinato 0.
TIP 72 — Napoles 25, Ramos 18, Latu 16, Soriano 7, Daguro 2, Mallari 2, Palisoc 2, Lara 0, Manalang 0, Quiambao 0.
Quarters: 15-15, 36-30, 56-51, 82-72.
CDSL 78 — Formento 20, Gabriel 17, Chabi Yo 12, Rojas 8, Alvarado 7, Sablan 5, Borja 3, Callano 3, Laman 3, Vargas 0.
UB 71 — Yemeli 22, Caspe 12, Tabol 12, Castro 8, Heideilburg 8, Gotam 5, Cervantes 2, Villegas 2, Arcilla 0, Clarion 0, Espiritu 0, Alade 0.
Quarters: 23-22, 42-40, 62-53, 78-71.