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Scorpions drown Sea Lions

By JEROME LAGUNZAD

Games Tomorrow
(Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – Diliman vs TIP
2 p.m. – LPU-B vs CDSL

If defense wins championships, then it’s not a surprise why Centro Escolar University is the reigning titlist.

The Scorpions made life miserable for Olivarez College and carved out a 60-43 victory yesterday in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 at the Sea Lions’ home court in Sucat, Parañaque City.

Congolese import Rod Ebondo scored 15 points and six rebounds in less than 16 minutes of play, but it was CEU’s unforgiving defense which turned the game into a rout.

“The guys were able to follow our game plan to the T and I’m very proud of them,” beamed Scorpions coach Yong Garcia, whose wards held the Sea Lions down to just four points in the opening period.

Earlier, prized rookie Master Mendoza shone as Bulacan State University defeated University of Batangas, 89-86.

With their rivals’ defense mainly focused on reigning league MVP Dominck Fajardo, the 5-foot-10 Mendoza took up the cudgels in the final canto where he pumped in seven of his game-high 22 points.

“It’s far from impressive but we will take it,” said BulSU coach Antonino Tayao.

“My players visibly felt the pressure since this is the opening day. Most of them are rookies and are still making the adjustments. That’s why I am not that surprised how tough it is pulling off this win.”

The lefty Mendoza made six steals – another game-best – on top of four rebounds, and three assists in more than 37 minutes of tireless play.

Mendoza was at his best in the final canto when he led a decisive 8-1 run that allowed BulSU to break free from a 73-all count and regain full control going to the final three minutes of play.

UB, however, rallied behind Don Tabol and Jerrick Caspe’s back-to-back triples to pull within two points, only to see Mendoza score three straight points and Jan Jauco bank in a hook shot that kept BulSU’s head above water.

“I told my players that Dominck cannot do it all by his lonesome. They have to step up and find a way to help our MVP,” added Tayao, who still got a solid 20-point, seven-rebound performance from Fajardo, an undersized big man at 6-foot-1.

Going down the drain with UB’s loss was Cameroon big man Raoul Yemeli’s monster performance of 20 points, 17 rebounds and three assists.

Scores:
BulSU 89 – Mendoza 22, Fajardo 20, Dela Cruz 13, Cristobal 12, Necio 8, Jauco 5, Crisostomo 4, Sellano 2, Solayao 2, Ledesma Jr. 1, Mendoza 0.

UB 86 – Yemeli 20, Caspe 13, Castro 11, Gotam 11, Alade 7, Espiritu 7, Tabol 7, Arcilla 4, Heidelburg 4, Gabriel 2.
Quarterscores: 24-19; 45-40; 67-60; 89-86.

CEU 60 – Ebondo 15, Guinitaran 10, Uri 6, Galinato 6, Fuentes 5, Umeanozie, 4, Intic 4, Manlangit 4, Caballero 4, Cruz 2, Demigaya 0, Baconcon 0, Arim 0, Wamar Jr. 0.

Olivarez College 43 – Castro 13, Geronimo 10, Saguiguit 5, Solis 4, Sunga 4, Almajeda 3, Begaso 2, Uduba 2, Bermudes 0, Elie 0, Lalata 0, Maganga 0, Navarro 0, Prado 0, Rabe 0.

Quarterscores: 11-4; 24-19; 45-32; 60-43.

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