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Sea Lions stretch win streak to three

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Thursday
(Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – BulSU vs Diliman College
2 p.m. – U of Batangas vs CEU

Showing steely nerves down the stretch, Olivarez College dodged Lyceum-Batangas’ upset bid, 91-87, yesterday for its third straight victory in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 at the Sea Lions’ home floor in Sucat, Parañaque City.

Richmon Sunga had 17 points while Joshua Almajeda made a pair of big defensive stops in the crunch as the Sea Lions averted a monumental collapse against the stubborn Pirates and kept their hold of the fourth spot with a 5-3 mark.

“A win is a win but I’m not satisfied with their performance,” said Olivarez College coach Mike Saguiguit after the Sea Lions squandered an early 19-point lead and flirted with big disaster in the face of the Pirates’ audacious fightback.

Rommel Saliente, the league’s first-ever triple-double performer the last time out, sustained his fiery form with a game-high 25 points and conspired with Byran Buen and Leo Fernandez in Lyceum’s strong surge in the second half.

A bucket by Jay Villaluna put the Pirates on top at 82-80 with more than three minutes to play, but Sunga, Vin Begaso and Dwight Saguiguit countered back with their own big shots before Almajeda spared the Sea Lions’ blushes with two key steals in the last 20 seconds.

Lyceum-Batangas, fresh from a 114-106 overtime victory against Bulacan State University over the weekend, dropped to 2-6.

Earlier, Technological Institute of the Philippines got back at University of Batangas 72-55.

Veteran Jorey Napoles accounted for 15 points and 10 rebounds while John Palisoc had 14 points off the bench to help the Engineers avenge a stunning 79-77 loss dealt by the Brahmans in their initial meeting last September 30.

More importantly, TIP stopped a two-game losing skid and improved its mark to 3-5, keeping itself within striking distance of the “Magic Four.”

Cameroonian Raoul Yemeli produced 15 points and 17 rebounds but could not get enough lift from his teammates as University of Batangas absorbed its seventh loss in eight starts.

First Game
TIP 72 – Napoles 15, Palisoc 14, Ramos 11, Quiambao 9, Daguro 7, Latu 6, Soriano 6, Lara 2, Mallari 2, Manalang 0.

UB 55 – Yemeli 15, Arcilla 10, Alade 7, Tabol 6, Gabriel 4, Castro 3, Villegas 3, Cervantes 2, Gotam 2, Heidelburg 2, Espiritu 1, Clarion 0.

Quarters: 18-15, 35-22, 53-37, 72-55.

Second Game
OLIVAREZ COLLEGE 91 – Sunga 17, Castro 14, Saguiguit 13, Navarro 9, Prado 9, Begaso 8, Geronimo 6, Lalata 6, Almajeda 3, Elie 2, Maganga 2.

LYCEUM-BATANGAS 87 – Saliente 25, Buen 20, Fernandez 14, Axalan 12, Villaluna 10, Lapasaran 4, Villanueva 2, Solitario 0.

Quarters: 27-15, 54-41, 70-66, 91-87.