MANDALUYONG CITY – Philippine Christian University stopped for the moment Enderun Colleges’ march to the semifinals of the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) with a thrilling 76-71 victory at the Rizal Technological University Gym Saturday (October 1). The battle is half-done as both teams will meet again on Monday with the winner taking a berth in the semis.
Michael Ayonayon recovered his bearings in time to bail out the Dolphins in the fourth period by sinking the go-ahead field goal with 45 seconds remaining, 72-71. Earlier, Michael de la Cruz gave the Titans the lead for the last time on a triple at the one-minute mark, 71-70.
Enderun tried to bounce back quickly but Joshua Grilli missed his shot, forcing de la Cruz to foul Dexter Mescallado who then made his two free throws for more cushion, 74-71. The ball went to de la Cruz, who tried to win the game at the buzzer but his triple went astray and John Vidal had no choice but to foul Ayonayon who fittingly ended the game with two more charities.
Ayonayon started on fire as his 16 points matched the output of the entire Enderun squad in the first period and PCU up, 25-16. However, he could only make two points in the second and third before awakening with eight points in the fourth for a total of 26 points on top of eight rebounds and Best Player honors.
Also providing the heavy hits for the Dolphins were Von Tambeling with 18 and Yves Sazon with 15. The Dolphins were badly beaten in rebounds (39-59) and assists (6-11) but turnovers really hurt Enderun’s cause as they threw the ball away 17 times compared to only six for PCU.
De la Cruz topped the Titans with 20 points on five triples plus five rebounds. Mark Javen Gatdula was next with 12 points and seven rebounds while Vidal added 10 markers.
With Gatdula at the firing end, the Titans took a shaky 35-34 advantage into the halftime break. Good plays from Sazon and Tambeling allowed the Dolphins to get back control entering the final 10 minutes, 54-50.
In their elimination round meeting last September 2, the Titans defeated the Dolphins, 96-86, behind 18 points and 12 rebounds each from the trio of Grilli, Wabo Kaptue and Willy Kamguia. Today, Grilli and Kaptue could only combine for 10 points while Kamguia has since left the team due to academic requirements.
How They Scored:
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (76) – Ayonayon 26, Tambeling 18, Sazon 15, Castro 8, Vasquez 4, Pallatao 2, Mescallado 2, Yasa 1, Malto 0, Bautista 0.
ENDERUN (71) – de la Cruz 20, Gatdula 12, Vidal 10, Villar 9, Nunez 8, Kaptue 6, Grilli 4, Dungan 2, Bernardo 0, Turingan 0.
Period Scores: 25-16, 34-35, 54-50, 76-71.