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UCBL: Locals spew fire for Blue Dragons

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Tomorrow (Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – Olivarez vs BulSU
2 p.m. – TIP vs U of Batangas

Diliman College’s underrated local crew made Olivarez College pay a hefty price for focusing too much on slowing down prized reinforcement Adama Diakhite.

Joseph Brutas hit timely buckets while Earl Salazar and Aldrin Ligon provided hustle plays as the Blue Dragons overcame the Sea Lions 65-58 on their home floor yesterday in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 in Sucat, Parañaque City.

The 6-foot-9 Adama Diakhite, despite dealing with cramps in the fourth canto, muscled his way to game-highs of 17 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks but it was his local teammates who spelled the difference in the crunch.

Brutas tallied six of his 16 points in the fourth canto where he conspired with Salazar and Ligon in the Blue Dragons’ decisive push that enabled them to take control over the stubborn Sea Lions.

More importantly, Diliman College earned a fitting follow-up to an 81-66 win over Bulacan State University over the weekend and improved its mark to 4-1 overall, good for solo third spot.

“They played very well in terms of limiting Adama following his 38-point performance (against BulSU) but I’m happy that my locals stepped up big time,” said Diliman College coach Rensy Bajar, who got 12 precious points from Salazar and Ligon, nine of them coming in the final frame.

“They were given enough an opportunity to take charge in the fourth and I’m very proud that they performed well.

Joseph hit his usual shots while Earl stabilized the team that’s why we were able to take control.”

In the other match, Technological Institute of the Philippines turned up the heat in the third quarter to carve out an 83-68 victory over Lyceum-Batangas and get its title bid back on track.

Veteran Jorey Napoles had a near double-double of 16 points and nine rebounds while Tevita Latu and Joseph Daguro combined for 32 points, 14 of them coming in their third-quarter onslaught where the Engineers outscored the Pirates 28-9.

The victory stopped TIP’s two-game losing streak and improved its mark to 2-3 in a tie with Olivarez College.

Lyceum-Batangas, led by August Lapasaran’ 17 points and 12 rebounds, suffered its fourth loss in five matches.

Paulo Castro had 10 points while Richmon Sunga and Jayboy Solis added at least seven points for the Sea Lions, who saw their two-game winning streak cut short.

Olivarez College took advantage of Diakhite’s absence early in the forth due to cramps and even took the upper hand at 49-48 off Chris Lalata’s four straight points, including a two-handed jam plus a foul off Diliman guard Robbi Darang.

First Game
Diliman College 65 – Diakhite 17, Brutas 16, Gerero 10, Salazar 7, Ligon 5, Sombero 4, Darang 2, Mbiya 2, Mondala 2, Bauzon 0, Corpuz 0.

Olivarez College 58 – Castro 10, Sunga 8, Solis 7, Bermudes 5, Saguiguit 5, Almajeda 4, Elie 4, Geronimo 4, Lalata 4, Begaso 2, Rabe 2, Uduba 2, Navarro 1.

Quarters: 11-14, 30-29, 48-45, 65-58.

Second Game
TIP 83 – Napoles 16, Daguro 16, Latu 16, Palisoc 11, Lara 6, Soriano 6, Ramos 4, Mallari 3, Tan 3, Quiambao 2, Manalang 0.

Lyceum-Batangas 68 – Lapasaran 17, Buen 11, Axalan 10, Villaluna 10, Vilanueva 7, Fernandez 6, Saliente 5, Solitario 2, Eranes 0, Olarte 0.

Quarters: 19-15, 34-34, 62-43, 83-68.