PARANAQUE CITY – It will be De Ocampo Memorial College versus Colegio de San Lorenzo for the inaugural National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) Seniors Basketball championship. The Cobras earned the right to face the Griffins after they defeated the PATTS Colleges of Aeronautics Seahorses in their do-or-die encounter, 97-88, at the Olivarez College Coliseum Friday morning (March 24).
This time, team leader Dahrrel Caranguian did not need to score in bunches as he received a lot of support from his teammates in a very balanced attack. The Cobras turned up their game in the third period as they slowly erased their 41-50 deficit at the halftime break.
The team’s patience paid off as Harold Lescano gave DOMC the lead with a basket at the 5:13 mark of the third canto, 55-54, and it was all-Cobras from that point onwards. Caranguian had a forgettable first half that saw him struggle with only two points but by the time he got his groove, it infected his teammates especially unlikely heroes in Tyrone de la Cruz and JR Pascual who excelled on both ends of the court.
Just as PATTS constantly threatened, DOMC always had a ready answer with Redel Fabro stealing the basket for an unmolested lay and then adding a free throw to give the Cobras an imposing 92-82 margin with a minute to play. Joshua Diaz and Neilmore Cayson tried their best to put up one last PATTS stand but to no avail as Caranguian and Brian Gallardo added the insurance free throws to send the Cobras to the best-of-three championship series.
Caranguian came off the bench and led DOMC with a total of 17 points. Six other Cobras had seven points or more.
Diaz set the tone for the Seahorses’ good start with 22 of his 27 points in the first half but was hardly a factor in the second half. John Paul Manansala came off the bench to match the 27 points of Diaz.
The Cobras snatched Game One of the series last Monday, 102-101. However, the Seahorses forced the rubber match on Wednesday via an inspiring 93-89 decision.
Game One of the DOMC-CDSL championship series will be on March 27 (Monday) at the Makati Coliseum starting at 9:00 AM. PATTS and Rizal Technological University will then dispute Third Place at 10:30 AM.
How They Scored:
DE OCAMPO (97) – Caranguian 17, Sabasaje 14, Pascual 13, Clarito 12, de la Cruz 12, Manalang 9, Gallardo 7, Fabro 5, Lescano 4, Ramos 2, Montojo 2.
P A T T S (88) – Manansala 27, Diaz 27, Cayson 13, Loyola 10, Velasco 4, Pimentel 3, Beltran 2, Orada 2, Fandialan 0, Capinding 0, Bautista 0.
Period Scores: 22-28, 41-50, 71-67, 97-88.