CENTRO Escolar University got a boost in morale ahead of the quarterfinals, scoring an 85-76 victory over Southwestern University on Saturday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Cameroonian center Rodrigue Ebondo had 18 points and nine rebounds, Rodel de Leon scored 13 and Alfred Batino had 12 markers as CEU finished the elimination round with a 7-1 win-loss record.
All 12 CEU players fielded grabbed at least one rebound for a total of 36 boards. The Cobras had 15 offensive boards, which were converted to 10 second chance points.
Scorpions coach Egay Macaraya warned his players about complacency, stressing the campaign could quickly end in the knockout quarterfinals.
“The quarterfinals is very crucial if you lose wala ka na kasi knockout,” said Macaraya. “Even if we got the 7-1 record wala na sa amin ’yun kalimutan na namin ’yun dahil it will be a very different ball game in the quarters.”
Congo's Boko Mupungu scored 17 points, Jasper Parker contributed 15, while Mark Tallo and Daryl Goloran combined for 25 markers for SWU.
Players almost got into a scuffle when SWU’s Daryl Goloran Goloran got tangled with CEU’s JM Vargas with five minutes left to play.
Goloran fell on the floor after a failed shot attempt and apparently kicked Vargas’ feet during the scramble for the loose ball.
Vargas and his teammate Alfred Batino were set to fight back but cooler heads intervened. Both were assessed unsportsmanlike fouls.
CEU 85 – Ebondo 18, De Leon, R. 13, Batino 12, Celso 8, Pagkatipunan 7, De Leon, K. 7, Casino 6, Abundo 6, Jeruta 2, Vargas 2, Opiso 2, Anunciacion 2.
SWU 76 – Mupungo 17, Parker 15, Tallo 13, Goloran 12, Auditor 8, Bregondo 5, Holper 2, Luz 2, Acuno 2
Quarterscores: 26-19; 48-43; 68-59; 85-76.