PARANAQUE CITY – In the end, De Ocampo Memorial College remained the lone undefeated team in Group A of the National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) Basketball tournament after they halted erstwhile co-leader Rizal Technological University, 79-76, at the Olivarez College Gym Thursday morning (February 9). Jhonard Clarito hit the big shots in the fourth period to fuel the Cobras’ rally and complement the game-long explosion of Dahrell Caranguian to carve out their fourth win in as many games.
Despite seeing the ejection of top scorer Cyrus Tabi at the 5:39 mark of the first period for a punching foul on Peter Marc Manalang, the Blue Thunder continued to enjoy leads as high as nine markers with Kerr Bangeles and Jonathan Boholano picking up the slack. Suddenly, Caranguian and Clarito came to life in the fourth by sinking back-to-back triples that capped their furious comeback and build an unassailable 79-70 advantage with 1:32 remaining.
Clarito scored a total of nine points in the final period to finish with 15 points, eight rebounds and six steals to earn Player of the Game honors. Caranguian paced the Cobras in scoring with 26 points on top of eight rebounds.
Bangeles topped the now 3-1 Blue Thunder with 27 points and five rebounds. Boholano came off the bench to add 21 points and seven rebounds.
How They Scored:
DE OCAMPO (79) – Caranguian 26, Clarito 15, Fabro 14, Sabasaje 7, Lescano 5, Manalang 3, Pascual 2, Canelas 2, Atabay 2, de la Cruz 2, Ramos 1, Gallardo 0, Montojo 0.
RIZAL TECH (73) – Bangeles 27, Boholano 21, Asuncion 5, Monghit 4, Riva 4, Liquinan 3, Estoce 3, Tilos 2, Flores 2, Reyes 2, Senires 0, Tabi 0.
Period Scores: 22-19, 32-39, 59-60, 79-73.