PARANAQUE CITY – Centro Escolar University is back alone at the top of the Universities and -Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) after dealing Lyceum of the Philippines University another defeat, 85-56, at Olivarez College Thursday afternoon (October 19). The Scorpions now tote an 8-1 win-loss card as they begin life without top player Rodrigue Ebondo.
The 6’6” Ebondo was called up by the Basketball Federation of the Democratic Republic of Congo to be part of their national squad for the coming Africa qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA-World Cup set for November 24 to 26 in Angola. Because of that, he will most likely miss the remainder of the UCBL season.
In Ebondo’s absence, guards Judel Ric Fuentes and Paul Galinato stepped up together with their other exchange Ebuka Umeanozie. Fuentes and Galinato provided the offense while the Nigerian Umeanozie worked on defense and rebounds and CEU rocketed to an imposing 49-31 margin at halftime that stretched to as high as 35 markers midway through the fourth period, 83-48.
Fuentes burned the hoop for four triples en route to a team-best 18 points. Galinato added 14 points followed by Christian Uri with 13 and Umeanozie missing a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Aliane Lapasaran paced the now 2-7 Pirates with 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench while John Patrick Villaluna chipped in nine markers. The Pirates have no choice but to sweep their remaining five games in order to have a shot at the playoffs.
How They Scored:
CENTRO ESCOLAR (85) – Fuentes 18, Galinato 14, Uri 13, Umeanozie 10, Wamar 8, Guinitaran 7, Intic 6, Manlangit 5, Arim 4, Caballero 0, Demigaya 0, Cruz 0, Baconcon 0.
LYCEUM-BATANGAS (56) – Lapasaran 19, Villaluna 9, Fernandez 7, Saliente 7, Axalan 6, Buen 5, Villanueva 2, Solitario 1, Olarte 0.
Period Scores: 22-16, 49-31, 72-42, 85-56.