RICH Guinitaran led the way this time as defending champion Centro Escolar University reaffirmed its mastery over Bulacan State University, 83-66, and regained the solo lead in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League on Saturday at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
Guinitaran buried five triples, finishing with 21 points as CEU scored its 12th win in 13 games, giving the Scorpions a boost ahead of their crucial match with Colegio de San Lorenzo on Saturday.
The CdSL Griffins are toting an 11-1 card.
“We know what Rich is capable of. His teammates did a better job finding him and making sure he’s wide open for those threes,” said CEU coach Yong Garcia, who also got six rebounds and four assists from Guinitaran.
University of Batangas got back at Lyceum-Batangas, 85-77, to close out its campaign on a high note.
Cameroonian Raoul Yemeli had game-highs of 28 points and 14 rebounds, while Lowell Castro had a near double-double of 15 points and nine rebounds to help the Brahmans avenge an 88-84 loss to the Pirates last Sept. 25.
UB stopped a seven-game skid and finished with a 2-12 card, still at the tail-end of the eight-team field.
Lyceum-Batangas, meanwhile, suffered its 10th loss against three victories.
“We really wanted to go out with a flourish,” said UB coach Judd Cauntay, who took over the coaching reins from Arnold Contorno prior to the to the start of the second round.
“Actually I’m still trying to familiarize myself with their individual talents. I haven’t been in charge for a long time and we’re still in kinda getting-to-know-you stage. I’m just happy that we were able to pull this off.”
UB 85 – Yemeli 28, Castro 15, Gotam 11, Caspe 9, Vilegas 8, Gabriel 6, Tabol 6, Alade 2, Cervantes 0, Heidelburg 0.
Lyceum-Batangas 77 – Fernandez 19, Axaln 17, Buen 14, Lapasaran 12, Saliente 9, Villaluna 6, Eranes 0.
Quarterscores: 23-16; 41-45; 66-58; 85-77.
CEU 83 — Guinitaran 21, Cruz, 13, Wamar 9, Galinato 9, Manlangit 8, Arim 6, Fuentes 5, Umeanozie 5, Intic 5, Baconcon 2, Caballero 0, Demigaya 0.
BulSU 66 — Necio 15, Fajardo 12, Dela Cruz 11, Adebola 10, Crisostomo 8, Ledesma 5, M. Mendoza 3, Enrile 2, Solayao 0, J. Mendoza 0, Cristobal 0.
Quarterscores: 28-15; 46-29; 59-37; 83-66.