MANDALUYONG CITY – City University of Pasay avoided the ignominy of a winless season by upsetting playoff bound Philippine Christian University in overtime, 93-87, on the penultimate playing date of the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) at the Rizal Technological University Gym September 25 (Sunday). Jayvee de la Cruz, Edgar Erice, James Solero and Janno Penaredondo stepped up in the extra period to allow the Eagles to finally enter the win column after 11 straight losses.
Earlier, Michael Ayonayon forced the overtime via a baseline reverese layup with 14 seconds to go, 78-78. In the ensuing possession, the referees whistled for a PCU foul at the buzzer, prompting a lengthy discussion that eventually nullified the foul as it came after the clock expired.
The lull seemed to favor the Eagles despite their coach Benedict Martin being slapped a technical foul just before the overtime began for complaining and delaying the game. However, Von Tambeling missed the free throw and de la Cruz nailed a triple to ignite CUP’s 8-0 blast to begin the extension from which they never looked back, 86-78.
De la Cruz led the Eagles with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists. After going scoreless through three periods, Penaredondo had 14 in the fourth and added three in the overtime for 17 points.
Ayonayon paced the Dolphins with 24 points followed by Tambeling with 23. The Dolphins ended the eliminations with a 7-6 win-loss card and now gird for the playoffs wherein they will play in the one-game knockout opening round against a still to be determined opponent.
CUP found more heroes in the 6’2” Solero who had 14 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks against the much bigger PCU frontline. Erice had 13 points via a pair of triples as the Eagles battled from as much as 18 points down in the second period, 20-38.
The last time the Eagles enjoyed a victory was on September 21, 2015 wherein they stopped New Era University at the Makati Coliseum in the final elimination round game of the 15th season, 96-84. It was CUP’s only win but it gave them the sixth and final playoff berth, eventually bowing to third seed Saint Clare College of Caloocan in the quarterfinals three days later at RTU, 71-90.
How They Scored:
PASAY (93) – J de la Cruz 20, Penaredondo 17, Solero 14, Erice 13, Padilla 8, Castaneda 5, Lizardo 5, Macasil 4, Acidre 3, Pervera 2, R de la Cruz 2.
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (87) – Ayonayon 24, Tambeling 23, Sazon 12, Galit 7, Castro 5, Mescallado 4, Catipay 4, Bautista 3, Vasquez 3, Ocampo 2, Abrigo 0, Malto 0, Yasa 0.
Period Scores: 24-12, 44-32, 57-55, 78-78 (reg.), 93-87 (OT).