Games on Saturday
(Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – Lyceum-Batangas vs UB
2 p.m. – CEU vs BulSU
SAVING its best for last, Bulacan State University got back at Lyceum-Batangas on Thursday, 109-101, while Diliman College repeated over Technological Institute of the Philippine to claim solo third in the 2nd Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) at the Olivarez College gym in Sucat, Parañaque City.
Reigning league MVP Dominck Fajardo dished out an all-around performance of 30 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists but it was the backcourt duo of Paul Dela Cruz and Abraham Crisostomo who provided the offensive punch down the stretch that enabled the Gold Gears to foil the hard-fighting Pirates.
Dela Cruz and Crisostomo combined for 55 points, 29 of those coming in the payoff canto where they outscored the entire Lyceum-Batangas unit while helping BulSU clinch its second win in its last three matches and improve its mark to 3-8 overall.
The Diliman Blue Dragons leaned on the heroics of Rickson Gerero to outlast the TIP Engineers, 78-76, in overtime.
The gutsy 5-foot-11 guard scored a jumper with nine seconds left as Diliman finished the elims with 9-5 record.
“I’m glad that the guys still played their hearts out especially in the final period,” said Gold Gears coach Toni Tayao. “We had so many heartbreaks this season so we made sure that we won’t endure another one against the Pirates.”
Bryan Buen and Leo Fernandez teamed up for 43 points while Rommel Saliente flirted with another triple-double of 11 points, as many assists and eight rebounds but they still could not prevent Lyceum-Batangas from absorbing its ninth loss in 12 matches.
The Pirates controlled majority of the way and even enjoyed their biggest lead at 65-48 off a JP Villaluna bucket midway in the third period, putting them on pace to repeat a 114-106 overtime victory over the Gold Gears nearly a month ago.
But Lyceum-Batangas suddenly went cold as BulSU waxed hot, with Fajardo and Christian Necio leading their searing fightback before relaying the offensive cudgels to Dela Cruz and Crisostomo in their 39-point explosion in the crunch.
“We know what we’re capable of doing on the offensive end. But the players’ collective desire to play tough defense remains a big challenge for us. Good thing, they rose to the challenge in the fourth,” said Tayao
BulSU 109 — Fajardo 30, Dela Cruz 28, Crisostomo 27, Necio 20, Adebola 2, J. Mendoza 2, Cristobal 0, Enrile 0, Ledesma 0, M. Mendoza 0, Odoy 0, Sellano 0.
Lyceum-Batangas 101 — Buen 23, Fernandez 20, Lapasaran 17, Villaluna 16, Saliente 11, Axalan 6, Villanueva 4, Eranes 2, Olarte 2, Solitario.
Quarters: 23-20, 43-49, 70-76, 109-101.
Diliman College 78 — Diakhite 18, Brutas 16, Mondala 15, Gerero 12, Ligon 6, Corpuz 4, Handag 3, Mbiya 2, Salazar 2, Bauzon 0, Darang 0.
TIP 76 — Napoles 19, Lara 13, Ramos 13, Daguro 9, Latu 9, Soriano 6, Palisoc 4 Quiambao 3, Mallari 0, Manalang 0.
Quarters: 20-18, 36-29, 52-48, 69-69, 78-76 (OT).