MAKATI CITY – Their season on the line, Colegio de San Lorenzo stepped up big time and toppled league leader Enderun Colleges, 81-80, at the resumption of the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) at the Makati Coliseum Monday morning (September 19). Big Jun Gabriel was dominant on both ends of the court but it was guard Charles Callano that saved the day with the winning steal and layup with 21 seconds left.
Mark Javen Gatdula tried to salvage the victory but his shot with eight ticks to go missed and the Griffins secured the rebound and dribbled the time away. Earlier, Gatdula almost became the hero after he canned two free throws off a Gabriel foul that gave the Titans the upper hand for the last time at the 44-second mark, 80-79.
Gabriel then tried to redeem himself but his hurried attempt missed. In the ensuing loose ball scramble, the Titans seized the ball but Callano came from the blind side for the swipe and two points.
“We focused on the details for today’s game,” said Coach Boni Garcia. “Everyone did their assigned role.”
For Gabriel, the role was to shadow Enderun center Wabo Kaptue in a matchup of two of the league’s elite big men. Apart from his good defense, Gabriel excelled on offense with 29 points and eight rebounds spread well throughout the game.
The intense contest saw no team lead by more than seven points as they battled through 13 deadlocks and 20 lead changes. The Griffins notched their fourth win and 10 games and hope to sweep their last three games against AMA University, EARIST and Saint Clare College.
Gatdula topped the Titans with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Mark Joseph Nunez followed with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists as Enderun absorbed only its second setback in 10 starts.
How They Scored:
SAN LORENZO (81) – Gabriel 29, Astrero 10, Vargas 8, Carongoy 8, Callano 8, Ancheta 7, Alvarado 7, Laman 3, Arcilla 1, Ajero 0.
ENDERUN (80) – Gatdula 20, Nunez 16, Grilli 13, Kaptue 13, Vidal 6, Villar 5, de la Cruz 4, Turingan 3, Dungan 0, Bernardo 0.
Period Scores: 23-23, 39-40, 64-63, 81-80.