(Olivarez Sports Center)
12 noon – TIP vs Olivarez
2 p.m. – CEU vs CDSL
Centro Escolar University and Technological Institute of the Philippines try to seal a projected title showdown when they go up against their rivals at the start of their respective semis series in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) today at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.
Armed with similar twice-to-beat privileges after finishing 1-2 in the two-round elims, the CEU Scorpions and the TIP Engineers need just to win today to arrange a best-of-three championship series.
Though their bid for a double-round sweep was foiled by Olivarez College at the close of the elims last Monday, the Scorpions remain the heavy favorites over the Colegio De San Lorenzo Griffins owing to their experience and depth.
They clash at 2 p.m. with the Scorpions confident they can beat the Griffins for the third straight time in the tournament presented by Euro Med and Lamoiyan Corp.
Out to lead Scorpions are the 6-foot-6 center Rod Ebondo, Samboy de Leon, Orlan Wamar and John Carlo Casino while the Bonnie Garcia-mentored Griffins are likely to draw strength from 6-foot-6 Jonjon Gabriel, Rustom Borja and Mark Kenneth Carongoy.
The Engineers, on the other hand, collide with the Olivarez Sea Lions at 12 noon with the former tipped to prevail having beaten the host school twice in the elims.
CEU coach Yong Garcia, however, is not taking the Griffins for granted, saying they have everything to gain if they win today’s game.
“This is war time already so anything can happen,” said Garcia. “If we want to play in the finals I told the boys to be ready and consistent from start to finish.”
TIP coach Sebastian De Vera readily agreed, saying they can’t afford to be complacent, knowing the Sea Lions are capable of delivering another Sunday punch.
Aside from the crowd support, the Sea Lions are going into the game with a sky-high confidence following a stunning 65-63 win over the Scorpions.
While the Sea Lions got a huge motivation, the Engineers are trying to make themselves look good despite the pain of dropping their final assignment – a 73-61 defeat to the Diliman College Blue Dragons.