SAN JUAN City – Centro Escolar University assumed solo leadership of Group B of the 2015 FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup by thrashing the University of Santo Tomas, 82-77, Saturday (May 23) at the San Juan Arena. The Scorpions rose to 5-1 and are in good position to make the quarterfinals next month.
After Kevin Ferrer scored to begin the fourth period and put the Tigers within four points, 59-63, the Scorpions answered with an 11-5 blast that restored their twin digit lead, 74-64. The Tigers tried to recover but timely baskets by Joseph Celso, Kenneth Kurt de Leon and Rodrigue Ebondo helped preserve the win.
UST drew superlative performances from Ed Daquioag who scattered 34 points on top of five rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes and Ferrer who finished with 28 points and five rebounds. Sadly, the rest of the team could only chip in 15 markers in total.
“We decided to let Daquioag and Ferrer do their thing and focus on stopping their teammates and it worked,” said Coach Edgar Macaraya.
Alfred Batino took home his second Freego Best Player of the Game citation with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Ebondo had equally impressive statistics with 13 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks.
The Scorpions had to play the game minus several key players, including scoring leader Samboy de Leon. “They broke team rules so the coaching staff had no choice but to discipline them,” explained Coach Macaraya refusing to further elaborate on the circumstances.
In the main game, defending champion De La Salle University joined idle San Beda College and University of the East in a three-way tie for Second Place in Group B by frustrating the Southwestern University Cobras, 90-80. DLSU, UE and SBC all tote 4-1 win-loss records, half a game behind the pacesetting Scorpions.
The Green Archers were powered by marvelous efforts by super rookies Joshua Andrei Caracut who had 18 points and Joshua Torralba with 17. The Cobras were paced by Mark Tallo with 17 markers and Boko Mupungo with 14 points and 13 rebounds as the CeSAFI champions fell to 0-2.
In the day’s curtain raiser, the University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta Altas remained the only undefeated squad in the 18-team field by taming the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 70-64. The Altas are now at 5-0 while the Tamaraws dropped to 3-3 in Group A.
How They Scored:
CENTRO ESCOLAR (82) – Batino 20, Ebondo 13, Anunciacion 12, Casino 12, Celso 10, K. de Leon 10, Abundo 5, Saber 0, Aquino 0, Aranas 0.
SANTO TOMAS (77) – Daquioag 34, Ferrer 28, Lao 6, Lee 3, Bonleon 3, Sheriff 2, Kakonda 1, Caunan 0, Huang 0, Faundo 0, Mayor 0, Garrido 0.
Period Scores: 13-20, 40-37, 63-57, 82-77.
DE LA SALLE (90) – Caracut 18, Torralba 17, Teng 14, Torres 10, Perkins 9, Muyang 8, Tratter 5, Go 3, Navarro 2, Van Opstal 2, Gob 2, Pascual 0.
SOUTHWESTERN (80) – Tallo 17, Mupungo 14, Parker 13, Goloran 13, Holper 8, Auditor 8, Luz 5, Habagat 2, Bregondo 0, Acuno 0.
Period Scores: 27-15, 46-31, 67-60, 90-80.