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CEU, Olivarez start title series

Game Today
(Olivarez Sports Center)
12 noon – CEU vs Olivarez

Centro Escolar University and Olivarez College start their best-of-three championship series today for the first Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

The expected shootout is fittingly set as 12 noon with both teams seeking a crucial win that will give them a psychological advantage going into the crucial Game 2 of the short title series.

While many believe the CEU Scorpions have the decisive advantage – both in manpower and experience – coach Yong Garcia is not taking the Sea Lions easily.

The Scorpions mauled the Sea Lions twice in the elims, but Garcia insists they will be facing a different Sea Lions in the finals.

“The elimination round is far different from the finals and they showed great character during their semis series with TIP,” said Garcia. “We’ll have to start from scratch since we have already been scouted from the elims to the semis.”

Knowing how formidable CEU is, Olivarez College coach Michael Saguiguit said: “Bahala na ang Diyos sa atin.”

“We were overwhelmed with our little achievement, I just hope we can sustain in and give CEU a good fight,” added Saguiguit. “Everybody knows that we are the smallest team in the league. So, we will try to put up a good defense.”

The Sea Lions, according to Garcia, will be going to the finals with a new-found confidence having beaten the twice-to-beat Technological Institute of the Philippines which they capped with a 42-38 win in their do-or-die match last Saturday.

“The Sea Lions are obviously reinvigorated by their win over the TIP Engineers, so just imagine their confidence going to the finals,” said Garcia, whose squad needed only to beat the Colegio De San Lorenzo once to make it to the finals.

The other reason why Garcia is wary of the Sea Lions is the crowd support.

“The crowd is their ‘sixth man’ so we’ll have to play as hard as we can to overcome that,” added Garcia, who is hoping to get another huge numbers from Rod Ebondo.

Aside from the 6-6 Ebondo, Garcia is looking forward to get significant number from a bevy of role players, including Samboy de Leon, Orlan Wamar and John Karlo Casiño.