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UCBL semis cast now complete

By Jerome Lagunzad

Colegio de San Lorenzo clinched a playoff incentive and even gave idle Diliman College a free ride to the Final Four round yesterday.

The rampaging Griffins ended the playoff hopes of Technological Institute of the Philippines Engineers behind a wire-to-wire 76-60 victory in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 at the Olivarez College gym in Sucat, Parañaque City.

Benin import Soulemane Chabi Yo led the way anew with 19 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals while John Formento tallied 19 points off the bench as CdSL wasted no little time in pulling away from a reeling TIP crew.

More importantly, CdSL streaked to its fifth straight victory, tied idle defending champion Centro Escolar University atop the field with similar 10-1 records and claimed the remaining twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.

Jorey Napoles had a team-high 18 points while Tevita Latu collected 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists but the Engineers still failed to recover from a sluggish start and even trailed by as many as 31 points.

Meanwhile, TIP suffered its third straight setback and eighth overall in 11 matches, kissing its semis hopes goodbye while allowing Diliman College (7-5) to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot.

“We are already preparing the boys for the bigger battles ahead so I’m happy that they’ve been rising to the challenge,” said CdSL coach Boni Garcia, adding they need to fine-tune their plays in the absence of pro-bound big man Jon Gabriel.

Earlier, reigning league MVP Dominck Fajardo saved his best for last as Bulacan State University repeated over fellow struggler University of Batangas, 82-71, in a no-bearing encounter.

Virtually a non-factor in the first 30 minutes, Fajardo made his presence felt in the stretch where he pumped in all of his eight points while teaming up with Paul dela Cruz and Abraham Crisostomo in the Gold Gears’ strong finish that left the Brahmans in a pile of mess.

“I told him ‘Dom you need to regain your groove if we want to win this game.’ I’m glad that he responded very well,” said BulSU assistant Richard Barrientes, who took over the coaching reins from head coach Toni Tayao for the meantime.

First Game
BulSU 82 – Necio 17, Crisostomo 15, Dela Cruz 15, M. Mendoza 12, Ledesma 9, Fajardo 8, Adebola 2, J. Mendoza 2, Cristobal 0.

UB 71 – Yemeli 28, Castro 13, Gotam 10, Alade 6, Espiritu 4, Arcilla 3, Tabol 3, Cervantes 2, Heidelburg 2, Clarion 1, Caspe 0.

Quarters: 13-17, 34-35, 56-52, 82-71.

Second Game
CDSL 76 – Chabi Yo 19, Formento 19, Callano 10, Laman 9, Rojas 8, Sablan 7, Alvarado 2, Ancheta 2, Borja 0, Gojar 0, Vargas 0.

TIP 60 – Napoles 18, Latu 13, Lara 9, Ramos 6, Quiambao 6, Daguro 4, Soriano 2, Tan 2, Palisoc 0, Manalang 0.

Quarters: 21-11, 42-27, 68-42, 76-60.