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Olivarez faces CEU for crown

Game Monday
(Olivarez Sports Center, Parañaque City)
12:00 noon – CEU vs Olivarez

Olivarez College outlasted Technological Institute of the Philippines in a defensive battle, 42-38 and secured the right to face Centro Escolar University in the finals of the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) at the Olivarez Sports Center yesterday in Parañaque City.

Cheered on lustily by a wildly-cheering home crowd, the Sea Lions fought the Engineers on even terms in the opening quarter, controlled the second quarter with their tight defense, wavered a bit in the next before relying once again on their trapping defense to win their low-scoring do-or-die game.

Making up for their smaller line-up, the Sea Lions surprised the TIP Engineers with their pressure defense holding them to just seven points in the payoff period to beat their second seeded team twice in three days.

The Engineers secured the second twice-to-beat advantage by finishing second behind the Scorpions in the double-round elims but the Sea Lions denied them an outright finals berth with a 70-53 win in Game 1 of their semis series last Thursday.

Game 1 of the finals will be on Monday.

“Everybody knows that we are the smallest team in the league. So, our only chance against TIP is to put up a good defense. I told my players that if we can’t play tight defense there’s no way we reach the finals,” said Olivarez coach Mike Saguiguit.

With the victory, the Sea Lions evened their personal duel with the Engineers at 2-2, after being beaten twice in the elims.

Olivarez 42 – Singh 10, Solis 8, Belaso 6, Rabe 6, Sunga 4, Saguiguit 3, Uduba 3, Bermudez 2, Sala 0, Navarro 0, Geronimo 0, Almeajada 0

TIP 38 – Napoles 7, Santos B. 7, Akpuru 7, Diego 6, Rosopa 3, Matignas 2, Santos I. 2, Pinas 2, Jimenez 0, Gadon 0, Okoronkwo 0, Enriquez 0

Quarters: 10-12; 21-16; 30-31; 42-38.