PARANAQUE CITY – De Ocampo Memorial College completed one of the most astonishing comebacks in the brief history of the National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) at the expense of Technological Institute of the Philippines, 72-68, in the featured game Thursday (February 16) at the A. R. Valdez Hall of PATTS College of Aeronautics. The Cobras bit and fought their way from a 17-point deficit midway against the much taller Engineers.
Igi Boy Sabasaje nailed back-to-back triples to complete the Cobras’ furious rally with 45 seconds to play, 68-65. Kevin Lara then tied the game for the last time via a triple, 68-68, but Dahrrel Caranguian responded with two pressure-laden free throws off a Jorey Napoles foul to give back the upper hand to the Cobras with 10 seconds on the clock, 70-68.
After a timeout, the Engineers committed a five-second inbound to return possession to the Cobras. Brian Gallardo was quickly fouled and he sealed the final outcome via the free throw line, 72-68. De Ocampo thus remained undefeated and on top of Group A with five straight victories while TIP fell to 1-4.
The Engineers started strong with veteran forward Harley Diego making his tournament debut. With Diego in harness, TIP jumped to a 12-2 lead and threatened to game into a laugher. Compounding the Cobra’s woes was the early ejection of forward Redel Fabro at the 7:56 mark of the second period after he was slapped two technical fouls for excessive complaining to the referees.
For his late game heroics, Sabasaje was named Player of the Game with 19 points on six of 16 shooting on top of five rebounds. Caranguian fired left and right to also tally 19 points on a six of 34 clip including five triples after scoring only two points in the first half.
Lara topped the Engineers with 13 points. Diego marked his NCRUCLAA debut with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
How They Scored:
DE OCAMPO (72) – Sabasaje 19, Caranguian 19, Clarito 12, de la Cruz 8, Pascual 6, Gallardo 4, Manalang 4, Canelas 0, Lescano 0, Ramos 0, Montojo 0, Fabro 0.
T I P – MANILA (68) – Lara 13, Diego 11, Gadon 10, Napoles 10, Limpiada 6, Mallari 6, Ramos 4, Matignas 4, Soriano 4, Manalang 0.
Period Scores: 14-23, 26-38, 42-50, 72-68.