MAKATI CITY – Philippine Christian University booked a return trip to the semifinals of the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) by outlasting Enderun Colleges, 66-62, in a highly intense game Monday (October 3) at the Makati Coliseum. The Dolphins wasted a big 23-point margin in the second period, 30-7, but held form down the stretch to end the series with their second straight win over the favored Titans.
The Titans’ patience finally paid off with Wabo Kaptue giving them the upper hand for the first time since scoring the game’s opening basket, 62-61, and 2:28 to go. Crucial errors by Enderun allowed PCU to reclaim the lead with Brent Pallatao providing the go-ahead free throw off Kaptue’s fifth and final foul at the 54-second mark, 63-62.
Both teams traded botched plays with Von Tambeling cleanly blocking a Mark Joseph Nunez attempt, forcing Enderun to foul Michael Ayonayon who promptly made his two gift shots and up their lead further with 13 ticks remaining, 65-62. Michael de la Cruz tried to win it for the Titans but his triple bounced off the rim and into the hands of Pallatao who was quickly fouled, making one free throw for the final tally with still six seconds on the clock.
The uphill battle definitely took its toll on the Titans as PCU raced to a 26-4 lead after one period behind the 16 points of Yves Sazon who eventually finished with 25 points and five rebounds. Ayonayon also had a similar stat line of 25 points, 17 made in the second half, on top of five rebounds.
Despite his early disqualification, Kaptue still topped the Titans with 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Mark Javen Gatdula followed with 11 points and five rebounds.
Up next for the Dolphins are the top seed Our Lady of Fatima University Phoenix. Their best-of-three series will start on October 6 (Thursday) at the Makati Coliseum.
How They Scored:
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (66) – Sazon 25, Ayonayon 25, Tambeling 7, Malto 3, Castro 2, Pallatao 2, Mescallado 2, Vasquez 0, Bautista 0, Yasa 0.
ENDERUN (62) – Kaptue 16, Gatdula 11, de la Cruz 9, Villar 8, Grilli 6, Vidal 5, Turingan 5, Nunez 2, Dungan 0.
Period Scores: 26-4, 34-20, 50-40, 66-62.