PARANAQUE CITY – Pro-bound big man Jun Gabriel returned to active duty to power Colegio de San Lorenzo into the finals of the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) by trashing Olivarez Colllege, 78-61, in a knockout game Thursday (November 23). The Griffins will now challenge defending champion Centro Escolar University in a best of three series starting this Saturday (November 25).
The 6’7” Gabriel came off the bench and immediately fired five points to complement starters Soulemane Chabi Yo, Raymart Angelo Sablan and Charles Callano as they pushed San Lorenzo ahead, 21-16. Sablan then starred in the third canto as he unloaded 11 markers as the Griffins enjoyed their biggest lead, 52-35.
Chabi Yo and Callano then continued from their good first period to combine for 19 points and provide the exclamation point in the final canto. Chabi Yo would go on to lead all scorers with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Callano came next with 21 points, ten rebounds and six assists.
Paulo Castro paced the Sea Lions with 19 off the bench while starter Archie Sunga added 15 markers. Olivarez had hoped to complete the upset and book a return ticket to the finals.
Despite the return of Gabriel, the Griffins remain heavy underdogs as they have yet to defeat the Scorpions in their five meetings since last season and losing by an average of 18.8 points per game. Both schools faced each other in last year’s semifinals where CEU immediately dispatched San Lorenzo, 99-57.
How They Scored:
SAN LORENZO (78) – Chabi Yo 22, Callano 21, Sablan 16, Gabriel 13, Alvarado 4, Ancheta 2, Formento 0, Borja 0, Laman 0, Rojas 0.
OLIVAREZ (61) – Castro 19, Sunga 15, Bermudes 9, Saguiguit 6, Solis 6, Elie 6, Navarro 0, Rabe 0, Begaso 0, Almajeda 0, Uduba 0, Lalata 0, Geronimo 0.
Period Scores: 21-16, 36-29, 52-40, 79-61.