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Ebondo comes through in the clutch for CEU

Games Saturday
(Olivarez Sports Center, Paranaque city)
12 noon – Diliman vs Olivarez
2 p.m. – BulSU vs. UB

Centro Escolar University got key baskets from Rod Ebondo in the payoff period and outlasted Technological Institute of the Philippines, 65-56, to extend its winning run to 10 games in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) yesterday at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

After missing the team’s 81-54 drubbing of Diliman College last Monday, the 6-foot-7 Ebondo made sure his comeback would be a big one by leading the team’s attack at the crunch with his power plays as CEU clinched the top seeding in the semis.

Ebondo tallied seven of his 12 points and five of his 10 rebounds in the final quarter to help the Scorpions repulse the Engineers’ comeback.

Ebondo’s performance was a far cry from a 20-point and 20-rebound showing in their 81-65 win over the Engineers in the first round.

TIP’s John Enriquez tied the count at 44-all with a triple but it proved to be their last hurrah as Ebondo started to impose his will inside by outhustling Nigerian Chris Okoronkwo.

The win likewise pushed CEU within two wins from sweeping the double-round elims.

The loss dropped the Engineers to share of second place with the Olivarez College Sea Lions at 6-3.

Despite their struggle to beat the Engineers this time, CEU coach Yong Garcia was still pleased with the performance of his boys, saying: “A win is a win, no matter how close it is. There are really many things to improve with my team. And I hope, we can do that in our last two matches. So that when the semis comes it would be at least different,” said Garcia.

CEU 65 – Opiso 18, Wamar 15, Ebondo 12, Manlangit 10, Casino 3, Guinataran 3, Aquino 2, Fuentes 2, Arim 0, Umeannozie 0, Saber 0, K. De Leon 0

TIP 56 – Enriquez 14, B. Santos 8, Napoles 7, Okoronkwo 7, Pinas 6, Diego 5, Akpuru 3, Resopa 2, Gadon 2, Jimenez 2, Matignas 0.

Quarters: 17-13; 35-26; 44-44; 65-56.