Game Today (Olivarez Coliseum)
12 noon — Awarding Ceremonies
1 p.m. — CdSL vs CEU
(Game 2, Griffins lead series 1-0)
Colegio de San Lorenzo goes for the sweep while defending champion Centro Escolar University fights for dear life as they square off today in Game 2 of their Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 finals at the Olivarez Coliseum in Sucat, Parañaque City.
Momentum will be on the side of the Griffins going to the 1 p.m. encounter after scoring an 86-78 victory over the Scorpions in the series opener last Saturday, putting them on the cusp of securing the ultimate prize in the fast-growing collegiate league.
Repeating a victory over a fired-up CEU side determined to bounce back is easier said than done, admitted CdSL Boni Garcia.
“Closing out any series is the hardest thing to do,” he said. “We have to be more intense and motivated than them since they are expected to give it their all with their backs against the wall.”
The Griffins should continue to enjoy a big advantage in terms of firepower, with Benin native Soulemane Chabi Yo lording it over in the lane while top locals Charles Callano and Jon Gabriel emerging as pillar of strengths on both ends.
Backup Jan Formento has also risen to the occasion for CdSL, pumping in 12 points, including a back-breaking triple in the crunch that enabled them to hold off CEU’s searing rally ignited by guards Orlan Wamar and Judel Fuentes.
Wamar and Fuentes, who combined for 12 triples and 51 points the last time out, are in dire need of more production from their fellow Scorpions who groped for form against the Griffins’ suffocating defense.
“If we want to stay alive, we have to come up with a better collective performance,” said CEU coach Yong Garcia. “We cannot rely on Orlan alone. Everybody has to do their part on both sides of the floor.”
The league will also fete this season’s top performers in a short yet colorful awarding ceremonies set at 12 noon.
Jorey Napoles of Technological Institute of the Philippines, reigning league MVP Dominck Fajardo of Bulacan State University and the sweet-shooting Wamar are among those top candidates for the highest individual award.
Chabi Yo, along with Senegalese counterpart Adama Diakhite of Diliman College and CEU’s Congolese center Rod Ebondo, is vying for the Best Foreign Student Athlete plum. (Jerome Lagunzad)