PARANAQUE CITY – Olivarez College and Philippine Christian University secured their semifinal spots in contrasting fashion at the completion of the National Collegiate Basketball League (NCBL) quarterfinals Tuesday (August 25) at the Dr. Pablo R. Olivarez Gym. Olivarez blew away Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, 80-55, while PCU rallied to frustrate Manuel L. Quezon University, 85-80.
The MLQU Stallions jumped out of the gates in the first period, 26-15, and looked all set to turn the contest into a laugher. However, the Dolphins did not find it funny and slowly climbed back into contention to trail by only four entering the final canto, 59-63.
Suddenly, the Stallions’ offense went cold. With 18 points to his credit after three periods, Christopher Bitoon continued to sizzle but the rest of the team fired blanks leaving Bitoon to carry the team by himself.
That was the cue for the Dolphins to make their move. The one-two scoring punch of Mike Ayonayon and Von Tambeling began to puncture the hoop at will eventually taking the lead for good.
Tambeling tallied 24 points while Ayonayon backed him up with 19. Fidel Castro provided added support with 10 markers.
Bitoon added 11 more in the fourth period to up his total to 29 points. John Ambulodto, Nikko Lao and Dennis Santos all notched twin digits but they all disappeared in the crucial stages of the fourth.
Waiting for the Dolphins in the semifinals is the undefeated top seed Centro Escolar University. Olivarez will tangle with second seed Technological Institute of the Philippines in the other pairing.
It was a different story for the Sea Lions. The hosts set the tone by grabbing the first period, 17-7, leading all the way from the opening tip.
The Red Fox partially threatened in the second period with the entry of Ebuka Umeanozie and Jervis Jed Bandalan but Olivarez always had a ready counter. Despite the outcome long decided, the Red Fox continued to display flashes of brilliance as the Sea Lions continued to stretch their lead.
Klarenz Singh led all scorers with 18 points while Pruvil Bermudes chipped in 13. Adding to the rout were nine points each from Vinny Begaso, Dwight Saguiguit and Elmer Labis.
RJ Natividad paced the Red Fox with 15 points. Umeanozie had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The knockout semifinals will be held on August 28 at the TIP-Manila Gym starting at 10:00 AM. The winners will go on to clash in the winner take all championship game on September 1 (Tuesday).
How They Scored:
OLIVAREZ (80) – Singh 18, Bermudes 13, Saguiguit 9, Begaso 9, Labis 9, Navarro 7, Andico 5, Jasmin 4, Corneh 2, Solis 2, Young 2, Madera 0, Tomilloso 0, Diaz 0.
EARIST (55) – Natividad 15, Umeanozie 12, Bandalan 8, Quiminales 6, Perez 3, Jimenez 3, de la Cruz 2, Orticio 2, Montealegre 2, Pancho 2, Cruz 0, Martinez 0, Galvez 0.
Period Scores: 17-7, 34-27, 61-39, 80-55.
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (85) – Tambeling 24, Ayonayon 19, Castro 10, Pallatao 8, Mescallado 7, Sazon 7, Catipay 4, Vasquez 3, Dangca 3, Malto 0, Bautista 0, Leron 0.
MANUEL L. QUEZON (80) – Bitoon 29, Ambulodto 13, Lao 11, Santos 10, Villegas 6, Ambrosio 4, Rivera 3, Ignacio 2. Aurelio 2, Maglangcom 0.
Period Scores: 15-26, 30-42, 59-63, 85-80.