CENTRO Escolar University came through with a big second quarter assault and romped over University of Batangas, 88-60, to gain a share of the lead in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) on Saturday at the Olivarez Sports Center in Paranaque City.
The CEU Scorpions led by just two points in the first 10 minutes of play, 20-18, but outscored the Brahmans in the next frame, 24-14, that saw them take a 44-32 halftime lead through the efforts of Carlo Casino, Ehsan Veron, Oliver Arim and Jason Opiso.
Showing no mercy, CEU held UB to just 11 points in third to practically settle the outcome of the game as they raced to a 67-43 lead.
With the win, the Scorpions tied idle the Technological Institute of the Philippines Engineers for the lead at 2-0.
It was a morale-boosting win for CEU as it faces TIP on Monday in showdown between the title favorites in the tournament sponsored by Euro-Med and Lamoiyan Corp.
"We have a slow start. Good thing the boys overcame the predicament and played well in the final half. We are prepared for this tourney, but we have still so many things to improve. That's what we are going to work on the rest of the tourney," said CEU coach Yong Garcia.
Aside from their impressive shooting, Garcia also credited their pressure defense for the win, especially in the final half where they forced the Brahmans to commit numerous turnovers.
CEU’s winning margin was the largest so far in the tournament – thanks to a well-balanced attack. They took their biggest lead at 29 points, 85-53, on a Veron jumper.
Casino led the Scorpions with 14 points to go with three rebounds and three assists, while Veron completed a double-double with 12 markers and 12 rebounds.
CEU 88 - Casino 13, Veron 12, Arim 11, Opiso 10, Fuentes 8, De Leon S. 8, De Leon K. 6, Aquino 6, Ebondo 5, Manlanguit 4, Quiminales 2, Guinitaran 2, Wamar 0.
UB 60 - Calacalsada 13, Gotam 8, Abanador 8, Gabriel 7, Pericas 6, Pentinio 6, Arboleda 4, Heidelburg 3, Cervantes 3, Contorno 2, Yemili 0, Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 20-18, 44-32, 67-43, 88-60.
Standings W L
TIP 2 0
CEU 2 0
Diliman 1 0
Olivarez 1 1
BSU 1 1
San Lorenzo 0 2
UB 0 3
Games Monday (Olivarez Sports Center)
12 p.m. -TIP vs CEU
2 p.m. - BSU vs San Lorenzo