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CEU too much for UB

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games on Saturday
(Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – Lyceum-Batangas vs BulSU
2 p.m. – CEU vs Diliman College

Centro Escolar University prized center Rodrigue Ebondo can now afford to bide his time to recover from an apparent hyperextended left knee injury. After all, his backups are good enough to assume his heavy work.

Big man Louis Baconcon proved that yesterday when he gave the Scorpions a needed lift to foil the University of Batangas Brahmans, 68-57, in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 at the Olivarez College gym in Sucat, Parañaque City.

The wide-bodied Baconcon nearly produced a double-double, finishing with 12 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting from the field on top of eight rebounds, doing his best to fill up the shoes left by the 6-foot-6 Ebondo at the start of the second half.

The Congolese center hurt his left knee following a bad fall during a rebound battle against UB counterpart Warlito Gotam with barely a minute into the third quarter. He was pulled out and iced his knee to soothe the pain.

“We will need Rod to be at his full strength next game so we didn’t force him to play in the second half,” said CEU coach Yong Garcia, making sure Ebondo will be fine when they take on Senegalese counterpart Adama Diakhite and Diliman College tomorrow at the close of the first round of eliminations.

Ebondo, despite his abrupt exit, already inflicted a big damage on the Brahmans with a game-high of 15 points on top of eight rebounds and three steals while veteran playmaker Orlan Wamar tallied 11 points, eight of them in the second half, as the Scorpions racked up their sixth straight victory.

The Brahmans showed tough resistance in the stretch as they closed in on at 57-62 off Raoul Yemeli’s split with under three minutes left. But Baconcon and the Scorpions regained their acts in time to pull through.

Don Tabol and Aleksa Villegas paced UB with 11 points each but they still failed to come up with a follow-up to their breakthrough win, a 79-77 stunner over TIP last week, and dropped to a 1-6 mark.

In the other match, the Sea Lions piled up more misery on the struggling Engineers with an 83-68 victory.

Noy Bermudes and Paulo Castro led their bench mob with a combined 34-point output and accounted for seven of the team’s 11 triples as Olivarez College nailed its second straight win and fourth overall in seven matches, tightening its hold of the fourth spot.

Jorey Napoles led all scorers with 19 points but TIP suffered its second consecutive setback and fifth overall against two wins, keeping itself at fifth spot.

First Game
CEU 68 – Ebondo 15, Baconcon 12, Wamar 11, Uri 8, Guinitaran 7, Umeanozie 6, Demigaya 4, Caballero 2, Fuentes 2, Manlangit 1, Arim 0, Galinato 0.

UB 57 – Tabol 11, Villegas 11, Yemeli 10, Gotam 9, Caspe 7, Alade 5, Espiritu 2, Heidelburg 2, Arcilla 0, Castro 0, Clarion 0, Gabriel 0.

Quarters: 18-9, 34-20, 53-45, 68-57.

Second Game
OLIVAREZ COLLEGE 83 – Bermudes 17, Castro 17, Rabe 7, Saguiguit 7, Sunga 7, Solis 6, Uduba 6, Begaso 5, Lalata 3, Navarro 3, Almajeda 2, Prado 2, Geronimo 1, Elie 0.

TIP 68 – Napoles 19, Latu 12, Primo 9, Ramos 8, Soriano 8, Lara 7, Tan 3, Mallari 2, Manalang 0, Palisoc 0, Quiambao 0.

Quarters: 15-15, 41-29, 66-44, 83-68.