SAN JUAN City – Centro Escolar University opened its 2015 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup campaign on a high note by subduing Lyceum of the Philippines University, 64-49, Wednesday (April 29) at the San Juan Arena. Out to prove that their Third Place finish last year was no fluke, the veteran-laden Scorpions bucked a slow start by raining a barrage of triples from which the Pirates never recovered.
“Anyone of my players has the license to shoot, as long as they are open, take the shot,” said Coach Edgar Macaraya, himself a deadly shooter during his professional playing days. Trailing after the first period, 4-9, the Scorpions began the second canto with a JB Pagkatipunan triple followed by back-to-back treys by Aaron Jeruta for a 13-9 advantage that they never relinquished.
The Scorpions were not yet finished. A 19-4 run powered by five more triples to begin the fourth period delivered the early knockout blow as they erected their biggest lead of the contest, 62-41.
“Our target is to return to the Final Four, if we can go beyond that then good for the team,” continued Coach Macaraya. “I look forward to testing my new players and reserves as we prepare to defend our NAASCU crown later this year.”
The Pirates kept the Scorpions nailed at four markers before scoring the final seven of the opening period. However, the Pirates shot badly throughout the ballgame as they missed 15 of the 30 free throws awarded them thus spoiling the debut of recently-hired Coach Topex Robinson.
Jeruta finished with nine points, all from beyond the three-point line, to lead the Scorpions. Pagkatipunan followed with eight as five other Scorpions chipped in five or more points in a balanced attack.
Jeb Bulawan paced the Pirates with 14 points and six rebounds. Joseph Gabayni was next with a silent nine points and three rebounds as they lacked support from the rest of the team.
In the day’s other Senior Division results, Jose Rizal University streaked to its third straight win by tripping University of San Jose-Recoletos, 75-58, University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta clubbed Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 59-47, and University of Santo Tomas outlasted Mapua Institute of Technology, 78-59. The lone Junior Division outing saw Letran whip Jose Rizal, 80-75.
How They Scored:
CENTRO ESCOLAR (64) – Jeruta 9, Pagkatipunan 8, Casino 7, Batino 7, Opiso 6, Abundo 6, Ebondo 5, Vargas 5, Silverie 3, Saber 2, S. de Leon 2, Celso 2, K. de Leon 2, Arim 0.
LYCEUM (49) – Bulawan 14, Gabayni 9, Zamora 7, Baltazar 6, Mbida 4, Nguidjol 4, Aya-ay 2, Magbuhos 2, Soliman 1, Sunga 0, Malabanan 0, Marata 0, Lacastesantos 0, Taladua 0, Alanes 0, Tampac 0, Caduyac 0.
Period Scores: 4-9, 28-22, 43-37, 64-49.